Three decades ago, an editor at Harper & Row (now HarperCollins) commissioned twenty-nine-year old journalist Eric Marcus to write an oral history of the “gay and lesbian civil rights movement.” The book that resulted was published in 1992 under the title Making History (the subsequent 2002 edition was published as Making Gay History). Nearly thirty years later, Eric found himself in a position to mine his book’s archive of interviews with champions, heroes, and witnesses to LGBTQ history for the Making Gay History podcast. In a presentation that draws on his audio archive, Eric shares what he’s learned about the power of personal testimony and the value of harnessing a mild case of obsessive-compulsive disorder in the service of creating an accessible and versatile oral history archive that has stood the test of time. Now that we are living in a future for which these oral histories were archived, how do they continue to live on in the world?
Eric Marcus is the creator and host of the award-winning Making Gay Historypodcast, which mines his decades-old audio archive of rare interviews — conducted for his oral history book of the same name about the LGBTQ civil rights movement — to create intimate, personal portraits of both known and long-forgotten champions, heroes, and witnesses to history.