The Mormon Women's Oral History Project began in 2009 at Claremont Graduate University when Dr. Claudia L. Bushman and students in her course "Mormon Women in the Twentieth Century" saw a real and immediate need for more women's voices to exist in the historical record. The stories of ordinary Mormon women are under-represented in the collections of material about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. With the aid of a grant from the Singer Foundation with a mandate to "do something for women," Bushman and her students developed the Oral History Project.
In 2013, the Project presented ten bound volumes containing 150 women's histories to the Honnold Library at Claremont Graduate University. Since then, noted scholars, amateur historians and graduate students have visited the collection to draw from these primary sources in their writings. With the swift growth of the project, additional volumes are being prepared for archiving. Histories now number over 200 and continue to be submitted to the project, all consistently formatted for academic use.
Also in 2013, the Project published Mormon Women Have Their Say: Essays from the Claremont Oral History Collection. This important volume explores the experiences of women in their various roles as homemakers, students, missionaries, career women, single women, converts, and disaffected members. Their stories feed into and illuminate the broader narrative of LDS history and belief, filling in a large gap in Mormon history that has often neglected the lived experiences of women. This project preserves and perpetuates their voices and memories, allowing them to say what has too often been left unspoken. The silent majority speaks in these records.
The Project continues to expand today, training interviewers and collecting even more histories.
We believe any person can become an oral historian and every woman has a story to tell.