Building a timeless audiovisual collection: libraries and archives as repositories of oral history

Joseph Marmol Yap, Agnes Sambalilo Barsaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Oral histories (OHs), as primary sources of information, are used as evidences of the past and inculcate human memory. It is a real testimony of our history. However, OHs are now neglected and somehow unpopular. Strategies must be done to make sure that OH projects should continue to be used as proofs. The purpose of this paper is to go back in time and review the OH in Asia, in the Philippines, and the collection at De La Salle University. Design/methodology/approach: This study explores the OH collection of the DLSU Archives. Data are extracted from the Sierra library system. Extracted subjects are arranged alphabetically. They are presented and summarized below. Historical data coming from the correspondences kept at the archives are also used to understand how the collection accumulated and how they are being organized, classified, and used by the patrons. Literature reviews are also consulted to learn more about the background of OH in the Philippines. Findings: A total of 176 subjects are identified. These subjects are selected on the basis of the Library of Congress Classification Scheme which is re-categorized according to the Philippine Standard Industrial Classification to identify which type of industry does each OH belong to. The category on professional, scientific and technical activities had 30 LCC-related subjects or 16.95 percent of the total number of subjects, next is 15.25 percent or 27 LCC-related subjects which comes from the arts, entertainment and recreation, and top three is Public Administration and Defense; Compulsory Security with 10.23 percent. Research limitations/implications: This paper shares the challenges and experiences of establishing and maintaining OHs. Practical implications: The paper presents new ways or initiatives to capture OH other than the traditional and usual process. Social implications: Oral interviews are given proper attention as part of the local history. Originality/value: There is a scarcity of OH papers written by librarians; therefore, this paper presents the current status of OH in the country.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-199
Number of pages12
JournalLibrary Management
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Academic archives
  • De La Salle University
  • Human library
  • Oral history
  • Philippines
  • Special collections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences

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