For reference assistance, please see our frequently asked questions page detailing how to visit the RBML, instructions for ordering oral histories, fair use of our materials, and permissions.

African-American woman standing outside photo by Julie B. Thompson

Kimberly Springer is Curator for Oral History for the Oral History Archives at Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library. She holds a master’s of information science, specializing in archives, preservation and social computing from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor. She obtained her doctorate from the Women’s Studies Program at Emory University in Atlanta.

Her research and publication areas are born-digital materials, artists’ studio archives, social media, social movements, and television studies as they intersect with race, gender and sexuality. Dr. Springer’s publications include Living for the Revolution, Black Feminist Organizations, 1968-1980 (Duke University Press, 2005), Still Lifting, Still Climbing: African-American Women’s Contemporary Activism (New York University Press, 1999), Stories of Oprah: the Oprahfication of American Culture (University of Mississippi Press, 2010) and articles in several journals and edited volumes.

Dr. Springer serves an an interviewer and archival consultant on the Obama Presidency Oral History Project, as well as on the boards of the Times' Up Measure Up research initiative and the Lakers Oral History Project led by Drs. Karida Brown (Director of Racial Equity & Action, Lakers Organization) and Frank Guridy (Associate Professor of History, Columbia University)

David Olson

David Amel Olson is the Oral History Archivist for the Oral History Archives at Columbia University's Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Before working at Columbia, David worked with oral history collections documenting the history of the radical left and labor movements at New York University's Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives. David holds an MA from NYU in Archives and Public History and an MLIS from Long Island University's Palmer School. His introduction to archives was working at the Social Welfare History Archives, while pursing his BA in history from the University of Minnesota. David has also previously worked in state government and the legal sector.

CCOH Research logo

As one of the world’s leading centers for the practice and teaching of oral history, the Columbia University Center for Oral History Research (CCOHR) seeks to record unique life histories, document the central historical events and memories of our times, provide public programming, and teach and do research across the disciplines. CCOHR is housed at the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics (INCITE). Oral historian Mary Marshall Clark directs CCOHR. 

INCITE/CCOHR and the Obama Foundation have partnered to produce the official oral history of the Barack Obama Presidency.


Oral History Master's class


Columbia University’s Oral History Master of Arts Program is the first program of its kind in the United States: a one-year interdisciplinary MA degree training students in oral history method and theory. Oral historian and educator Amy Starcheski directs the master's program.