SRCD Oral Histories Go Online

The Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) has just posted online a number of transcripts from its Oral History Project. Over the course of its 25 year history, the SRCD Oral History Project has interviewed 135 important scholars in the field of child development. Now online are 16 interviews with individuals such as Mary Ainsworth, Eleanor Gibson, and Jerome Kagan (left). A full list of the available oral history transcripts is provided below and efforts are underway to post transcripts of further SRCD oral histories. For those interested in the history of developmental psychology, these interviews will undoubtedly prove an invaluable window into the field.

As described on the SRCD website,

Launched 25 years ago, the Oral History Project of SRCD is now available on this website to members of the Society as well as other interested scholars.  Interviews of 135 major figures in the fields of child development and child psychology, as well as other related fields, are included in the collection.  Sixteen of some of the earliest obtained oral histories are posted here and others will be incorporated in the near future.  Each person was interviewed by someone whom he/she selected, and the recordings were then transcribed, edited for accuracy, and approved before inclusion in the collection.  Some scholars in this project are now deceased, while others are alive and well; many played key roles in the governance or service of SRCD.  Approximately 50 more interviews are now in progress.

The transcripts in this project should be of interest for a variety of reasons, including instruction both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Scholars interested in historical roots and trends in the field and those concerned about the emergence of research, policy, and practice concerning children and families will find a wealth of informative history in these interview transcripts.  An example of how the transcripts may be used is the article by Claire E. Cameron and John W. Hagen (2005), “Women in child development: Themes from the SRCD Oral History Project” (History of Psychology, 8, 289-314, 2005), in which quantitative and qualitative analyses were conducted on 47 early oral histories of women who became leading scholars and spokespersons in child development.

Transcripts of interviews with the following individuals are currently available on the SRCD Oral History Project webpage.

Mary Ainsworth
Gerald Patterson
Jack Block
Julius Richmond
Urie Bronfenbrenner
Sir Michael Rutter
Norman Garmezy
Sandra Scarr
Eleanor Gibson
Harold W. Stevenson
E. Mavis Hetherington
Ann Streissguth
Jerome Kagan
Emmy Werner
Eleanor Maccoby
Edward Zigler

Tip’o the hat to Cathy Faye for bringing this to AHP’s attention.

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About Jacy Young

Jacy Young recently completed a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Surrey in the UK. She earned her doctorate in the History and Theory of Psychology at York University in 2014.

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