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Doing Oral History


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Table of Contents

Introduction and Acknowledgments 1. An Oral History of Our Time Memory and Oral History Public History and Oral History 2. Setting Up An Oral History Project Funding and Staffing Equipment Processing Legal Concerns Archiving and the Internet 3. Conducting Interviews Preparing for the Interview Setting up the Interview Conducting the Interview Concluding the Interview 4. Using Oral History for Research Oral Evidence Theory Publishing Oral History 5. Videotaping Oral History Setting and Equipment Processing and Preserving Video Recordings Video Documentaries, Exhibits, and the Internet 6. Preserving Oral History in Archives and Libraries Managing Oral History Collections Sound Recordings Digital Oral Archives Donated Interviews Legal Considerations Public Outreach 7. Teaching Oral History Oral History in Elementary and Secondary Schools Oral History in Undergraduate and Graduate Education Institutional Review Boards 8. Presenting Oral History Oral History Web Sites Community History Family Interviewing Therapeutic Uses of Oral History Museum Exhibits Radio and Television Performance Appendix 1: Best Practices of the Oral History Association. Appendix 2: Sample Legal Release Forms Notes and References Bibliography Internet Resources Index

About the Author

Donald A. Ritchie is Historian, U.S. Senate Historical Office; past president of the Oral History Association; editor of the The Oxford Handbook of Oral History and author of Press Gallery: Congress and the Washington Correspondents and Reporting from Washington.


"Donald Ritchie...has produced an invaluable manual that will serve research scholars and teachers equally well...Without pretension, Doing Oral History fulfills the promise touted on the jacket cover: to provide 'practical advice and reasonable explanations for anyone.'...[A] significant contribution to making oral history accessible to a wide audience of potential users."--The History Teacher "Written in a friendly question-and-answer format, this book gives advice for preparing, setting up, and conducting an interview...Ritchie's step-by-step guide will help you preserve your family's experiences for generations to come."--Family Tree "Ritchie has laid out the fundamentals to guide novices and given long-term practitioners material that will help them re-evaluate their own approaches. This book needs to be on every oral historian's shelf."--Northwest Oral History Association "This book is not a dustcatcher. It is destined to be dog-eared and full of underlined passages, from the first time you pick it up. In a user-friendly question-and-answer format, much like an oral history interview, Don Ritchie has packed into one modest volume enough practical advice to get an oral history project off the ground, help a novice oral historian conduct a responsible interview, and challenge more experienced oral historians, librarians, and archivists who might use oral history to think broadly about the impact of what they are doing."--Mid-Atlantic Archivist "[The] standard work for many years to come."--Public Historian "Simple, straightforward, and effective...[A] stimulating and formidable work...[I]t is indeed a guide to practice, but it is much more: it is a stepping-off point to the increasingly large universe that oral history pracititioners occupy."--Oral History Review "[An] all-purpose guide to the entire range of the oral history process...[T]his volume provides extensive background on oral history and its relation to the larger realm of historical inquiry, discusses how oral history interviewing compares with journalistic and other interviewing techniques, and considers the workings of the human memory."--American Archivist "A definitive guide that provides all the practical advice and explanations needed to turn your ideas and goals into action and to create recordings that illuminate the human experience for generations to come. Definitely recommended."--The Ultimate Puzzle: Family Research "A comprehensive handbook on the theory, methods, and practice of oral history, based on work by the Oral History Association to revise its professional standards and principles."--Book News, Inc. "[A] comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the art of oral history."--Oral History in New Zealand

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