Oral history

Oral History: Institutions

Noolaham Foundation is a Tamil digital community archive. It was founded in 2005 as a “Noolaham project” by two Tamil volunteers in Eelam (Sri Lanka). Soon it developed into Noolaham Foundation with the joint contribution of collaborative and volunteer-driven people. It is funded by donations. Aavanaham.org is a part of Noolaham Foundation that was started in 2017. Aavanaham means “archive” and noolaham means “library” in Tamil. It collects, categories and index, stores, preserves and makes documents, in all kinds of medium, available for the public.

Noolaham Foundation has an oral history division under aavanaham.org. They document the oral history of people living in Eelam (Sri Lanka) under the project name “வாய்மொழி வரலாற்று ஆய்வு நிலையம்” (Oral Historical Research Station). As well as collecting oral history contributions by other Tamils around the world. This is one of the digital repositories to document, collect, store, preserve and make Tamil oral history available for public access. As far it is known, Noolaham is the first repository to preserve Oral history in Eelam.


Minner.no create a digital environment to collect, preserve and disseminate various forms of interviews and written appeals. Those documents show the knowledge and experiences of different people. According to Minner.no, the tool is under development, and they work with a long-term perspective to facilitate the best possible arrangements for:

  • Private individuals can pass on their own experiences – and take part in others´ experiences
  • Cultural institutions can invite the public to join in documenting various phenomena and events in society
  • Audiences, researchers and journalists can take part in how different people understand their own lives and living conditions
Memoar – norsk organisasjon for munnleg historie (Memoar – Norwegian organisation for oral history)

Memoar is a non-profit organisation that builds a resource centre for oral history in Norway. They work together with institutions and voluntary organisations to document, collect, preserve and disseminate oral source material about contemporary time. Their purpose is “å fremja ein kultur for å ta vare på og dela munnlege forteljiongar om levd liv” (“to promote a culture of preserving and sharing oral narratives about lived life”).

Memoar is currently documenting daily life in 2020, focused on the corona.
For more information: http://www.memoar.no/korona. At the current situation, they do also interview through zoom or other platforms and record the conversation.

An open invitation from Memoar.no

When DsporA Tamil Archive contacted Memoar, they showed an interest and gave an open invitation to hold practical courses for interested Tamil individuals, organisations or other societies for collecting oral history about the past and present. At the moment Memoar has funding through the project “Oral history for everyone”, and the course thus costs nothing for the participants. But the participants need to arrange a place to hold the course.

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