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

Dr. Kimberly Springer is Curator for Oral History for the Columbia Center for Oral History Archives at Columbia University’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library and Co-Director of the Columbia Privacy Lab (c/privacy lab). For 2021-2022 she is Visiting Associate Professor of American Studies. 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, praxis, and publication areas are archives, privacy, cultural studies, and social movements. 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.  She has worked in public media and the government sector for National Public Radio, Michigan Radio, the Smithsonian Institution Archives and the U.S. State Department.

Dr. Springer serves as 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.

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.