Doing Oral History

Doing Oral History

by Donald A. Ritchie
     
 

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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? And what does it take to become an oral historian? Donald A. Ritchie, a leading

Overview

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? And what 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 and information 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.

Editorial Reviews

Booknews
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. Offers practical advice on obtaining funding, staffing, and equipment; video and audio recording; conducting interviews; publishing; preserving materials; teaching oral history; and using oral histories in museums, on radio, in therapy, and in interactive video. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
"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. (on a previous edition)

"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...it 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...this 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 and up-to-date overview of the art of oral history." —Oral History in New Zealand

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199839704
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
08/07/2003
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Donald A. Ritchie is Associate Historian in the United States Senate Historical Office, where he conducts an oral history program. A former president of the Oral History Association, he has served on the council of the American Historical Association, and chaired the Organization of American Historians' committee on research and access to historical documentation. He has conducted many oral history workshops, and for ten years, he edited the Twayne oral history series.

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