Oral history is the systematic collection of living people's testimony about their own experiences. Oral history is not folklore, gossip, hearsay, or rumor.Oral historians attempt to verify their findings, analyze them, and place them in an accurate historical context. Oral historians are also concerned with storage of their findings for use by later scholars. (Do History.org)
Oral history is the recording of people’s memories, experiences and opinions. It is a living history of everyone’s unique life experiences,
An opportunity for those people who have been ‘hidden from history’ to have their voice heard
A rare chance to talk about and record history face-to-face
Oral history refers both to a method of recording and preserving oral testimony and to the product of that process. It begins with an audio or video recording of a first person account made by an interviewer with an interviewee (also referred to as narrator), both of whom have the conscious intention of creating a permanent record to contribute to an understanding of the past. A verbal document, the oral history, results from this process and is preserved and made available in different forms to other users, researchers, and the public. A critical approach to the oral testimony and interpretations are necessary in the use of oral history. (Oral History Association)
Resources About Oral History and the Interview Process
Oral history is vital to our understanding of the cultures and experiences of the past. Unlike written history, oral history forever captures people's feelings, expressions, and nuances of language. But what exactly is oral history? How reliable is the information gathered by oral history? Andwhat does it take to become an oral historian? Donald A. Ritchie, a leading expert in the field, answers these questions and in particular, explains the principles and guidelines created by the Oral History Association to ensure the professional standards of oral historians. Doing Oral History has become one of the premier resources in oral history. It explores all aspects of the field, from starting an oral history project, including funding, staffing, and equipment to conducting interviews; publishing; videotaping; preserving materials; teaching oral history;and using oral history in museums and on the radio. In this second edition, the author has incorporated new trends and scholarship, updated and expanded the bibliography and appendices, and added a new focus on digital technology and the Internet. Appendices include sample legal release forms andinformation on oral history organizations. Doing Oral History is a definitive step-by-step guide that provides advice and explanations on how to create recordings that illuminate human experience for generations to come. Illustrated with examples from a wide range of fascinating projects, this authoritative guide offers clear,practical, and detailed advice for students, teachers, researchers, and amateur genealogists who wish to record the history of their own families and communities.
The Oral History Manual is designed to help anyone interested in doing oral history research to think like an oral historian. Recognizing that oral history is a research methodology, the authors first define oral history and provide an overview of its various applications. They then examine in detail the processes of planning and doing oral history, which include articulating the purpose of interviews, determining legal and ethical parameters, identifying narrators and interviewers, choosing equipment, developing budgets and record-keeping systems, preparing for and recording interviews, and caring for interview materials. The Oral History Manual provides a road map for all oral history practitioners, from students to public historians.
In this second editon of Recording Oral History, Valerie Raleigh Yow builds on the foundation of her classic text. One of the most widely used and highly regarded textbooks ever published in the field, Yow's updated edition now includes new material on using the internet, an examination of the interactions between oral history and memory processes, and analysis of testimony and the interpretation of meanings in different contexts. Written in a clear, accessible style, this new volume offers historians, social scientists and other practitioners engaged in this difficult, rewarding work a scholarly and practical guide to the methods of oral history. It will interest researchers and students in a wide variety of disciplines including history, sociology, anthropology, education, psychology, social work and ethnographic methods.
Willa Baum once again shares her enormous knowledge of oral history in her second AASLH book, focusing this time on what to do when ending interviews, how to decide whether or not to transcribe, how to process data, and how to transcribe. Also provided are detailed instructions on auditing tapes, editing, working with legal agreements, indexing, and more.
Since 1980, The Tape-Recorded Interview has been an essential resource for folklorists and oral historians - indeed, for anyone who uses a tape recorder in field research. When this book was first published, the reel-to-reel recorder was the favored format for fieldwork. Because the cassette recorder has almost completely replaced it, Ives has revised the first chapter, How a Tape Recorder Works, accordingly and has included a useful discussion of the differences between analog and digital recording. He has also added a brief section on video, updated the bibliography, and reworked his original comments on tape cataloguing and transcription. As in the first edition, Ives's emphasis is on documenting the lives of common men and women. He offers a careful, step-by-step tour through the collection process - finding informants, making advance preparations, conducting the actual interview, obtaining a release - and then describes the procedures for processing the taped interview and archiving such materials for future use. He also gives special treatment to such topics as recording music, handling group interviews, and using photographs or other visual material during interviews.
"Frisch's essays penetrate the historical consciousness of the nation and expose its distortions. He is not afraid to 'depart from the usual academic form.' This volume ranges from insightful essays and interviews to book and film reviews, but despite its sweep of subjects and form, its pieces build coherently upon each other. This is an entertaining, illuminating, and provocative body of work. "Two pieces from the book-evaluating the New York Times' editing of oral history for publication, and the PBS documentary "Vietnam: A Television History"-provide especially strong examples of the intellectual insight and importance of this book. Both analyze not only the content of the presentations but the omissions, penetrating the values of the editors and raising serious questions about the packaging of history for the public. "Frisch lends a critical ear to the public presentation of history, particularly history drawing from oral sources. He hears not only what was said, but who said it, and what was asked of them. He questions the assumptions and motivations that transformed oral testimony into publications and documentary films, and the ways in which those products have been popularly received." - Donald A. Ritchie, U.S. Senate Historical Office