Exploring the Vietnam War through Oral History:
Testimony from the Dartmouth Vietnam Project
Welcome! This collection of digital history exhibits was curated during the Fall of 2020 by a group of Dartmouth College students enrolled in a history course entitled "The Dartmouth Vietnam Project: Learning oral history in a digital age."
Taught by Professor Edward Miller of the Dartmouth History Department, our course took place in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Although we had to conduct all of our class meetings by Zoom videoconference, we explored key topics in oral history theory, methodology, and interviewing technique.
Each of us also had the privilege of conducting an oral history interview with a U.S. military veteran who served during the Vietnam War. Although the veterans we interviewed have diverse backgrounds and experiences, they are connected by their ties to the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire and to Dartmouth College.
In this collection, we present the testimony of these four veteran narrators about their wartime experiences. We also put our interviews in conversation with other digital and textual sources, including oral history interviews conducted by other historians. We are interested not only in the personal narratives of these four individuals, but also in what their stories reveal about larger themes and questions in the history of the Vietnam War and the "Vietnam era."
Like the scholar Alessandro Portelli, we see oral history as a means to explore "horizons of shared possibilities, real or imagined." In these exhibits, we survey a few of those horizons, as revealed in the lives and testimony of our narrators.
To access our exhibits, please select one of the links below:
- "We Build, We Fight": Navy Seabees and Civic Action in the Vietnam War by Sarah Sim '21
- “Thats How We Survived”: Resilience, Community, and Intolerance in the Lives of LGBTQ Servicewomen during the Vietnam War era by Charlotte Driscoll '21
- "Half of my fraternity brothers were ROTC": The Military, Vietnam, and Dartmouth in the 1960s by J.P. Mortenson '21
- Narrative Style and the Use of Oral Testimony in "The Vietnam War" by David Velona '21
You can also switch between exhibits at any time by using the left-hand menu that appears on each page of the collection.
For more information about the Dartmouth Vietnam Project, please visit the DVP website.