OHMA Equipment and Space Bookings

OHMA students may book audio recording equipment, video recording equipment and conference room space for free through INCITE. Please be sure to email Emily Kerman at ek2772@columbia.edu at least 24 hours in advance of when you’d like to book space or equipment.

OHMA Travel and Training Support

The Oral History MA Program offers each student travel and training support of up to $400. This funding may be used for conference travel, research travel, or professional development.

GSAS provides matching funds for M.A. student research projects. OHMA provides $250 in seed money for a few student research projects selected through a competition each year, which GSAS matches, bringing the total awards to $500 per student. This support can be used for research travel, transcription, technical support, equipment, etc. Information about the program, and the application form, are here.

Our past research grant award recipients include:

We strongly encourage students to get involved with professional associations by attending a relevant conference while they are at OHMA, and many students attend the Annual Meeting of the Oral History Association each year. You can find a list of conferences in which you may be interested here.

Students may also used this funding to support research travel for their thesis, or for professional development. The Maysles Documentary Center and Downtown Community Television, for example, both offer short courses in video production that can complement OHMA’s offerings.  

Students will be reimbursed for expenses after they have been incurred, and should confirm that expenses will be eligible for reimbursement before expending funds.

A number of our students have also met success applying to outside funding to help support their thesis work:


Blinken European Institute Summer Travel Grants

GSAS provides matching funds for M.A. students who are presenting at conferences. OHMA provides up to $300 which GSAS matches, bringing the total award to $600 per selected student. Information is available through GSAS and the Graduate Student Advisory Council:

GSAS: https://gsas.columbia.edu/student-guide/professional-development/funding-attend-conferences

GSAC: http://www.columbia.edu/cu/gsac/travel_grants.html

Past recipients of the GSAS Conference Matching Travel Fund include:

  • Benji de la Piedra (2014), 2015

  • Nora Waters (2018), 2019

Note that in order to take advantage of this GSAS and GSAC funding you must be presenting at a conference, so you would need to plan ahead and submit a proposal well in advance to be eligible for it. 

OHMA offers conference travel funding for at least one alumni each year, supporting presentations on completed theses and new oral history work.

Our past Alumni Conference Travel Award recipients include:

Oral History Networking:

We recommend that you bookmark the following pages in your browser for long-term reference:

  • The Oral History Page on H-Net: while you’re here, be sure to sign up for their listserv for job announcements, CFPs and other national and international OH project announcements


Over the course of the academic year, OHMA students work with one member of the program faculty to develop their master's thesis/capstone projects. They also have the opportunity to choose a second advisor outside of the department specialized in their field of interest. These faculty members combine with the thesis course professor(s) to provide academic support in line with the mentorship practices encouraged by Columbia's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Additionally, the Columbia Oral History Alumni Association (ohma.alumni@gmail.com) facilitates a mentorship program connecting current students with program graduates who can offer additional input on thesis/capstone drafting, academic planning, institutional resources, professional development, and collaborative projects. The OHMA Mentorship Program seeks to bring together oral historians with like interests, introduce students to alumni with relevant skillsets or experience, and provide OHMA graduates the opportunity to build new oral history partnerships and remain engaged with the program.

Academic Resources:

Columbia Libraries: The Columbia library system has over twenty-two physical libraries and also hosts many electronic resources.

Click here to learn how to use the Columbia Center for Oral History collection at Butler Library.

A useful resource for some OHMA students is the Data Service, operated by the Digital Social Science Center. It is a lab and service point for users doing quantitative work and needing assistance with either GIS or statistical software. It also helps provide access to a large number of data collections.

Database and Journal Access: Columbia pays for access to most of the online academic databases, so students can access any of them easily, and without logging in, if you access them on the Columbia campus. If at home or somewhere else, Columbia affiliates can still access all of the same resources, but must connect through Columbia using their UNI. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Go to the "databases" section on the library website and select whichever database you wish to use. You can also access E-journals etc, by clicking on the "E-Resources" tab at the top of the page. When attempting to connect to the database, it should prompt you to enter your UNI and password.

  2. On the Columbia home page, search in the upper right search box for the name of the database you wish to use, and go to the first result in the results page. For example, if you search JSTOR - it will take you to this, and then click "Connect."

The Writing Center: Consultants at the Writing Center will work with you on any type of writing, at any stage in the process. Students may even visit the Writing Center to brainstorm. Consultants are also willing to help you read difficult texts or create outlines. There are limited drop-in hours, as well as appointment times. Try to make an appointment about a week before you would like to visit the Writing Center, as they can be very busy, especially around midterms and finals seasons. For more information and to make an appointment, see their website

Jeffrey H. Brodsky Oral History Thesis Prize

OHMA announced the Jeffrey H. Brodsky Oral History Award in November 2015. This cash award of $3000 is supported by a generous donation from OHMA alumnus Jeff Brodsky and will be given to one student annually whose thesis makes an important contribution to knowledge and most exemplifies the rigor, creativity, and ethical integrity we teach our students.