We are pleased to present a sample transcription and translation of one of the oral history interviews. We are making this public in order to illustrate the type of information we hope this project will elicit and preserve. As noted elsewhere, the project, upon completion, will have over 500 interviews, and a fully searchable database to make finding information and relevant interviews easier.

You are welcome to use these interviews in your work, but please be sure to acknowledge their source: The Oral History of Twentieth Century Mongolia, University of Cambridge. Also, please let us know of any papers, presentations, etc. that you use the data in.

A few important notes:

First: These are largely uncorrected files. There may well be a few mistakes that I have not caught, or infelicities in the translation that need polishing. However, we feel that offering a perhaps somewhat rough transcription and translation now is better than waiting for some time before offering a slightly more polished one. Please e-mail me about any mistakes, corrections, etc.

Second: The Mongolian transcription will not display all characters properly in Internet Explorer 6.0 and older. This is a fault of IE, not this webpage. The Mongolian text will display correctly on IE 7. We may eventually offer an "IE-proof" version for easier browsing for those with older browsers.

History of Ulaanbaatar

These files are part one of a five part interview on the history of Ulaanbaatar. The part presented here deals mostly with the interviewee's childhood in the countryside and what it was like to be a herder in early twentieth century Mongolia. Unfortunately, the other three parts of this interview have not yet been translated into English. So in fairness to our English-only visitors, we will wait to post the rest until they are translated.

The body

This is a two-part interview dealing with the human body. It covers a wide range of topics, including the the background of the person interviewed, as well as some very interesting information on topics like work norms under socialism, and the introduction of vegetables and soap to the Mongolian countryside in the mid-twentieth century.

You can listen to an excerpt from part one of this interview here.

Living space

This is a two-part interview where the topic was to investigate living space. The second part deals more with that, while the first has some interesting background, including some comments on his father who fought at Halhyn Gol, and the 2nd Congress of Mongolists, in the 1960s.

Interviews with monks

An interview with a monk from Gandan monastery.

The English translation of this interview is the first made possible by the support of Khan Bank in Mongolia, to whom we are grateful for the support!

A second interview with a monk from Gandan monastery, who covers lots of historical material.

A third interview with a monk from Gandan

The Democratic Revolution and the 1990s


The actual subject this interview (and future ones in this category) fall under are "The Kazakhs in Nailah."

A second interview:

1990s and the Family

Two interviews that run were run under topic of looking at the impact of the democratic revolution and the transition of the 1990s on the family.

Miscellaneous interviews

A number of themes explored in the pilot project interviews - and particularly in the first year - were dealing with relationships between people. We were interested in looking at how the relationship between the interviewer and the interviewee effected the interview. So for a lot of these there wasn't one particular topic. I've decided for now to just group them as 'miscellaneous interviews'. Hopefully at some not-too-distant future date I'll organize them a bit better.

The following interview was conducted as part of an attempt to look at how power relations -- being a boss or worker -- affects your view of things. Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, this approach didn't quite work as we had hoped. The interview, nonetheless, covers an interesting range of topics.

This interview covers a wide variety of topics -- the changes since the democratic revolution in 1990, animal husbandry, fate and belief to name just a few.

Another wide-ranging interview.

All feedback, comments, questions, etc., should be directed to: Information.