Cover image for Doing oral history : a practical guide
Doing oral history : a practical guide
Ritchie, Donald A., 1945-
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Oxford : Oxford University Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
318 pages ; 24 cm
An oral history of our time -- Setting up an oral history project -- Conducting interviews -- Using oral history in research and writing -- Videotaping oral history -- Preserving oral history in archives and libraries -- Teaching oral history -- Presenting oral history.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
D16.14 .R57 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



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 the field of oral history. It explores all aspects of oral history, from starting an oral-history project, including funding, staffing, and equipment to conducting interviews; publishing; videotaping; preserving materials; teachingoral 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 legalrelease 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.

Author Notes

Donald A. Ritchie is Associate Historian in the United States Senate Historical Office, where he conducts an oral history program.

Table of Contents

Introduction and Acknowledgmentsp. 11
Chapter 1 An Oral History of Our Timep. 19
Memory and Oral Historyp. 30
Public History and Oral Historyp. 41
Chapter 2 Setting Up an Oral History Projectp. 47
Funding and Staffingp. 50
Equipmentp. 57
Processingp. 64
Legal Concernsp. 75
Archiving and the Internetp. 79
Chapter 3 Conducting Interviewsp. 84
Preparation for the Interviewp. 85
Setting up the Interviewp. 88
Conducting the Interviewp. 90
Concluding the Interviewp. 108
Chapter 4 Using Oral History in Research and Writingp. 110
Oral Evidencep. 117
Publishing Oral Historyp. 128
Chapter 5 Videotaping Oral Historyp. 134
Setting and Equipmentp. 139
Preserving and Using the Video Recordingsp. 145
Chapter 6 Preserving Oral History in Archives and Librariesp. 155
Managing Oral History Collectionsp. 160
Sound Recordingsp. 164
Digitizing Oral Archivesp. 171
Donated Interviewsp. 179
Legal Considerationsp. 182
Public Programsp. 184
Chapter 7 Teaching Oral Historyp. 188
Oral History in Elementary and Secondary Schoolsp. 193
Oral History in Undergraduate and Graduate Educationp. 207
Institutional Review Boardsp. 215
Chapter 8 Presenting Oral Historyp. 222
Community Historyp. 223
Family Interviewingp. 230
Therapeutic Uses of Oral Historyp. 233
Museum Exhibitsp. 237
Radio and Oral Historyp. 241
Oral History on Stagep. 243
CD-ROM and the Internetp. 245
Appendix 1 Principles and Standards of the Oral History Associationp. 252
Appendix 2 Sample Legal Release Formsp. 256
Notes and Referencesp. 261
Selected Bibliographyp. 287
Internet Resourcesp. 305
Indexp. 309