- The Oxford Handbook of Oral History
- Introduction: The Evolution of Oral History
- The Dynamics of Interviewing
- Those Who Prevailed and Those Who Were Replaced: Interviewing on Both Sides of a Conflict
- Interviewing in Cross-Cultural Settings
- Case Study: Oral History and Democracy: Lessons from Illiterates
- Memory and Remembering in Oral History
- Can Memory Be Collective?
- Case Study: Rome's House of Memory and History: The Politics of Memory and Public Institutions
- How Does One Win a Lost War? Oral History and Political Memories
- Disappointed Remains: Trauma, Testimony, and Reconciliation in Post-apartheid South Africa
- Case Study: Memory Work with Children Affected by HIV/AIDS in South Africa
- The Stages of Women's Oral History
- Race and Oral History
- Remembering in Later Life: Generating Individual and Social Change
- The Proust Effect: Oral History and the Senses
- After Action: Oral History and War
- Case Study: “Above all, we need the WITNESS”: The Oral History of Holocaust Survivor
- Case Study: Field Notes on Catastrophe: Reflections on the September 11, 2001, Oral History Memory and Narrative Project
- Doing Video Oral History
- Case Study: Opening Up Memory Space: The Challenges of Audiovisual History
- Achieving the Promise of Oral History in a Digital Age
- Oral History: Media, Message, and Meaning
- Messiah with the Microphone? Oral Historians, Technology, and Sound Archives
- Case Study: Between the Raw and the Cooked in Oral History: Notes from the Kitchen
- The Legal Ramifications of Oral History
- Ethical Challenges in the Oral History of Medicine
- The Archival Imperative: Can Oral History Survive the Funding Crisis in Archival Institutions?
- Case Study: The Southern Oral History Program
- Case Study: What is it That University-Based Oral History Can Do? The Berkeley Experience
- Toward a Public Oral History
- Motivating the Twenty-first-Century Student with Oral History
- Oral History in Universities: From Margins to Mainstream
- Case Study: Engaging Interpretation Through Digital Technologies
- Oral History in the Digital Age
Abstract and Keywords
Oral history is as old as the first recorded history and as new as the latest digital recorder. Long before the practice acquired a name and standard procedures, historians conducted interviews to gain insight into great events, beginning at least as early as Thucydides, who used oral history for his account of the Peloponnesian wars. In the eighteenth century, Samuel Johnson commented that “all history was at first oral,” but the term “oral history” was first used in reference to troubadours and oral traditions. However, the study of oral history was taken up seriously only during the twentieth century. Oral history did not attach itself to interviewing until an article appeared in the New Yorker in 1942 about Joe Gould, a Greenwich Village bohemian who claimed to be compiling “An Oral History of Our Time”. This article further discusses the importance of oral history projects and oral historians at the same time.
Donald A. Ritchie, emeritus historian of the U.S. Senate, conducted oral histories, prepared historical documents for publication, and provided research and reference for senators, scholars, and the media. His books include Press Gallery: Congress and the Washington Correspondents; Reporting from Washington: The History of the Washington ↵Press Corp; Electing FDR: The New Deal Campaign of 1932; and The U.S. Congress: A Very Short Introduction.
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