Oral history, defined as a method of gathering and preserving historical information through recorded interviews with participants about past events and ways of life, is not subject to IRB review if the researcher does not seek to generalize to a larger population beyond the oral history case study.
For examples that illustrate the distinction, click here.
Researchers using oral history methods should follow the ethical guidelines of the Oral History Association.
For more background, click here.
Not sure whether your oral history project involves "human subjects research"? If you want help assessing your project, just ask.