The Johns Hopkins Oral History initiative aims to better understand and share the history of Johns Hopkins University through recording, transcribing, and preserving oral histories with members of the Hopkins community and by making these oral histories available to the public. We also seek to increase visibility and accessibility of existing oral history collections relating to the history of Hopkins that have been collected by various departments. Watch this space for updates as we gather new oral histories and share them here. 

Hopkins Retrospective Oral Histories

Johns Hopkins University Oral History Collection

A collection of oral histories recorded between 1999 and the present with administration, faculty, staff, alumni, and other Johns Hopkins University affiliates. This collection continues to grow as Hopkins Retrospective interviews individuals each year. The collection is housed in the Ferdinand Hamburger University Archives.

Try searching these keywords in the JHU Oral History Collection to explore more:

  • First-Generation, Limited Income (FLI): Hopkins Retrospective works to capture the experiences of first-generation students at Johns Hopkins University.
  • Indispensable Role of Blacks: a digital project co-sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Black Faculty and Staff Association, the Office of the President, and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. The project recognizes the Black students, faculty, and staff who have contributed to the university’s rich history and who have brought honor to Johns Hopkins through their achievements.

Browse the JHU Oral History Collection

Head shot of Chester Wickwire, a older white man with grey side burns and dark short haircut. He wears a dark suit jacket and tie. The image is black and white.
Chester Wickwire graduated in 1953, and was hired to work at Johns Hopkins University , eventually serving as University Chaplain. His oral history is available on JScholarship.

Online Hopkins Oral History Collections

Alumni Story Swap

Around campus. Across generations. Among friends. These stories, collected by the Alumni Association, recall the adventures of youth, challenges, and rewards in pursuing one’s education at Johns Hopkins University. 

Watch Alumni Story Swap Videos

Baltimore Queer Oral History Collection

This collection, created by Dr. Joseph Plaster, documents queer and trans histories in Baltimore. Plaster and his students recorded these oral histories as part of the Peabody Ballroom Experience, a public humanities collaboration between JHU and the ballroom community; Plaster’s Spring 2022 course “Queer Oral History” taught through the Program in Museums and Society; and summer research fellowships. Dr. Plaster serves as the Director and Curator in Public Humanities of the Winston Tabb Special Collections Research Center. 

Explore the Collection

Housing Our Story: Towards Archival Justice for Black Baltimore 

This collection consists oral history interviews conducted in 2018 as part of “Housing Our Story: Towards Archival Justice for Black Baltimore,” a grant-funded project led by faculty members Dr. Jennifer Kingsley, Dr. Shani Mott, and Dr. N.D.B. Connolly who worked with undergraduate students to collect oral histories of Black staff and contract workers employed at the university. 

Explore “Housing Our Stories”

Paul F. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Oral History Project

This collection, created by SAIS Alumni Relations, documents and preserves the stories of SAIS alumni and explores the significance of their experience at SAIS in their lives and careers.

Listen to SAIS Alumni Stories

Sounds and Stories: The Musical Life of Maryland’s African-American Communities

The Sounds and Stories collection contains oral histories of more than 60 individuals who have participated in the musical life of Baltimore’s Black community. The collection was started in 2002 as a collaboration among the Peabody Archives, the Musicology Department of the Peabody Conservatory, and the History Department of the School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University.

Explore Sounds and Stories Project

Analog Hopkins Oral History Collections

Nursing History Project Oral History Interviews

Ada Davis Collection and Records of the Johns Hopkins Nurses Alumni Association, Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives

The Nursing History Project oral history interviews consist of audio cassette tapes with recorded interviews of Johns Hopkins nursing alumni as well as administrators of both the Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.

Learn More About the Interviews

Charles Center Collection (MS488, Ferdinand Hamburger University Archives)

The collection consists of oral history interviews, transcripts, research materials, and exhibit materials that were gathered for an early 21st century exhibit on the development of Charles Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

Learn More About the Collection