The September 11, 2001 Oral History Project
The September 11, 2001 Oral History Narrative and Memory Project was a joint effort between INCITE and the Columbia Center for Oral History (CCOH), with generous contributions from the National Science Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and Columbia University. The project, implemented in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, collected several hundred life-history interviews from a wide range of individuals affected by the attacks.
The goal of the project was to preserve individuals’ memories before they were affected and altered by the larger narratives of the media and ensuing events. In some cases specific sectors of society were targeted for interviews, including local artists, first responders, relief workers, and many others. In other cases, interviewers were simply interested in collecting as many everyday stories of response as possible. In total, the project provides a comprehensive and immediate collection of responses to the attacks. Interviews were conducted by a wide range of individuals, including CCOH staff members, professional consultants, and volunteers throughout the University.
In 2011, these oral histories were collected into a book, After the Fall: New Yorkers Remember September 11, 2001 and the Years that Followed, edited by Mary Marshall Clark, Peter Bearman, and Stephen Drury Smith. They are also housed at the Columbia Center for Oral History Archive.