On-line workshop: How to do good oral history

Here’s what you need to get going on oral histories, especially for student projects:  A how-to guide (warning — 16 megabytes in .pdf), a workshop on doing oral histories, suggested questions to get you started, a budget sheet, interviewer and interviewee release forms — instant oral history project for your class, complete with lesson plans.

The T. Harry Williams Center for Oral History is a branch of the Louisiana State University (LSU) Library.  These materials are offered in workshops the library will do for you, but there is no reason not to use them yourself.

An important issue for student projects is where the oral histories they do should be archived — these are not just student projects, after all, but real, live, semi-pro history.  If you’re in Louisiana, the Williams Center will be happy to take some submissions (see their guidelines).  The Library of Congress is looking for interviews with veterans.  What other depositories invite submissions, and what local archives should you grace with new oral histories?  The LSU site offers links to dozens of other oral history depositories and sources.  See for example the University of North Texas Oral History Program, which has a focus on World War II veterans,  and The Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin.

One Response to On-line workshop: How to do good oral history

  1. mpb says:

    How timely. The Alaska Humanities Forum. requires standards of the Oral History Association, Pamphlet Series

    The Wayback Machine (http://archive.org) is an archive also. However, I would favor copies at least going to a state’s library or museum designated as the archive. This can be at a university or with a state museum or with a state library. The other copy could go to the local or community or tribal museum/library/historical society. Thus, there is a locally accessible copy and a more permanent copy (we all know what funding, politics, and disasters can do to stored knowledge)


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