The Oral History Manual / Edition 2

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Overview

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.
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Editorial Reviews

Oral History Review
A clear and concise discussion of the process of oral history. It has become the standard manual for most community and academic oral history projects…. [It] clearly explains the fundamentals of oral history techniques, such as how the interaction of interviewer and narrator influences most aspects of the interview, from how a question is phrased to how the response is understood.
Susan Becker
The Oral History Manual is a treasure-trove, both for people who want to know how to organize and run an oral history program from scratch, and for those who want to improve the professionalism of an ongoing program. Whether you feel overwhelmed by how to get started, want a better understanding of everything from equipment choices to techniques for conducting better interviews, require better organization so that your interviews don't fall into a black hole of processing limbo, or wonder about the philosophical underpinnings of oral history practice, this is your book. Even though I've worked in the field for many years, I found a wealth of examples of procedures and forms in this new edition that will help me improve my own oral history program.
John Wolford
The Oral History Manual has been a classroom standard since it was first published in 2002, praised by teachers for its logical organization of materials and completeness of topics, and by students for its easily understood descriptions, explanations, and instructions. This second edition retains the first edition's ease of use while adding important new information relevant to contemporary students: expanded sections on cross-cultural interviewing, processing interviews, budgeting, and legal and ethical considerations, along with an updated technology section. Beyond being useful for students, this is a great guide for researchers wanting to figure out how to conduct and process interviewing projects, whether they work professionally for a local history society or independently on a family oral history project.
National Genealogical Society Quarterly
Oral History Manual certainly merits reading by family historians who are interested in the mechanics of oral interviews. Its authors are extremely knowledgeable oral history technicians . . . it is worth adding to any oral historian's library.
— Sheila Benedict, CGRS
Oregon Historical Quarterly
...a how-to guide for mastering the techniques of oral history and methods for collecting and processing the audio results....Quinlan and Sommer provide good, practical advice regarding the interview setting, interview techniques, and processing and care of oral histories. They deal with copyright issues, Internet distribution, interview equipment, project budgets and research preparation. Notes at the end of each chapter provide excellent resources for each of the topics. They also provide appendices with forms for keeping a project organized and obtaining important information as well as a glossary of terms, a tremendously useful annotated bibliography, and an index.
— Donna Sinclair, Oregon Historical Quarterly and Portland State University
Northwest Oral History Association
Covers in good detail all the basic steps of setting up an oral history project. . . . Chapters discuss legal and ethical issues; technology; pre-interview activities such as background research; the interview itself; processing; and preservation of the final product. There is also an extensive list of ideas of how to incorporate the interviewinto public programming. . . . The volume also includes sample forms, a glossary, bibliography, and reprints the principles and standards of the Oral History Association. The Oral History Manual presents one of the most cogent descriptions of oral history and how it differs from other methods of information gathering, whether the journalist interview or field-interviewing as conducted by folklorists.
— Linda Morton-Keithley, Idaho State Historical Society
The Annals Of Iowa, Vol. 62, No. 2, Spring 2003 - Kimberly K. Porter
In The Oral History Manual Barbara W. Sommer and Mary Kay Quinlan answer nearly any question the budding, or experienced, oral historian could possibly conjure . . . comprehensive but concise . . . Many manuals of style and technique exist, but this is perhaps the most straightforward, easy-to-use, and readily available one on the market . . . given the increasing awareness in primary and secondary schools of the importance of oral history in their curricula, as well as the swelling number of historical societies, private institutions, and individuals interested in the craft of oral preservation, this book should find a place on many a bookshelf.
National Genealogical Society Quarterly - Sheila Benedict
Oral History Manual certainly merits reading by family historians who are interested in the mechanics of oral interviews. Its authors are extremely knowledgeable oral history technicians . . . it is worth adding to any oral historian's library.
Northwest Oral History Association - Linda Morton-Keithley
Covers in good detail all the basic steps of setting up an oral history project. . . . Chapters discuss legal and ethical issues; technology; pre-interview activities such as background research; the interview itself; processing; and preservation of the final product. There is also an extensive list of ideas of how to incorporate the interviewinto public programming. . . . The volume also includes sample forms, a glossary, bibliography, and reprints the principles and standards of the Oral History Association. The Oral History Manual presents one of the most cogent descriptions of oral history and how it differs from other methods of information gathering, whether the journalist interview or field-interviewing as conducted by folklorists.
North Carolina Historical Review, Vol. Lxxx, No. 3, July '03 - Debra A. Blake
Authors Barbara Sommer and Mary Kay Quinlan produced a practical guide for those involved in this field. Both have multiple years of experience as oral historians, and the clear, engaging style of this volume fully illustrates their expertise . . . invaluable to anyone involved with oral histories . . . [a] necessary guide for public historians and others involved in research.
Utah Historical Quarterly
[A] highly useful manual on oral history . . . an excellent introduction.
Oregon Historical Quarterly - Donna Sinclair
...a how-to guide for mastering the techniques of oral history and methods for collecting and processing the audio results....Quinlan and Sommer provide good, practical advice regarding the interview setting, interview techniques, and processing and care of oral histories. They deal with copyright issues, Internet distribution, interview equipment, project budgets and research preparation. Notes at the end of each chapter provide excellent resources for each of the topics. They also provide appendices with forms for keeping a project organized and obtaining important information as well as a glossary of terms, a tremendously useful annotated bibliography, and an index.
Oral History Review - Lu Ann Jones
Barbara W. Sommer and Mary Kay Quinlan have written a concise yet sophisticated guide for community groups embarking on oral history projects. It is also an excellent resource for seasoned professionals who routinely conduct oral history workshops for historical societies and museums.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Barbara W. Sommer has worked in oral history and public history for nearly 30 years. She is the author of Hard Work and a Good Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps in Minnesota, and is a co-author of The American Indian Oral History Manual: Making Many Voices Heard. She has taught oral history extensively in college classrooms in Nebraska and Minnesota and in community workshops around the United States and in Canada and is a founder of the Oral History Association of Minnesota. Mary Kay Quinlan is associate professor of journalism at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and editor of the Oral History Association Newsletter. She is a co-author of The American Indian Oral History Manual and of The People Who Made It Work: A Centennial Oral History of the Cushman Motor Works. She has taught oral history at the college level and in community workshops and, with Sommer, has presented at oral history conferences in the United States and Canada. They are co-founders of the Nebraska Foundation for the Preservation of Oral History.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Chapter 1. Introduction to Oral History
Chapter 2. Planning Overview
Chapter 3. Planning and Budget
Chapter 4. Legal and Ethical Considerations
Chapter 5. Recording Technology
Chapter 6. Interview Preparation
Chapter 7. The Interview
Chapter 8. Processing and Care
Chapter 9. Making Meanings from Oral History
Appendix A. Sample Oral History Forms
Appendix B. Oral History Association Evaluation Guidelines
Appendix C. Selected Sources
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