- 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
This article strives to answer the question of whether oral history can survive the funding crisis that rages archival institutions. The cost and complexity of managing archival collections in libraries and archives are increasing at unprecedented rates. Collecting institutions are expected to do more with less, a common experience for most publicly funded repositories since the 1980s. Institutions struggling with backlogs of physical collections are now responsible for electronic collections that grow exponentially and require new formats with astonishing frequency. Archives must provide online as well as on-site services to satisfy researchers, and those who allocate funding. In some ways, oral history is well adapted to survive in this tumultuous environment. Many archival institutions have been educating local practitioners since the 1970s about the standards required by their repositories. The pragmatism required for preservation strategies will be anathema to some curators, just as the underlying principles have been to some archivists in recent years.
Beth M. Robertson is manager of preservation at the State Library of South Australia, and was the library's foundation oral history curator from 1987 to 1999. Her Oral History Handbook is in its fifth edition and is regarded as the Australian standard. She won the Australia Oral History Association's Hazel de Berg Award for Excellence in Oral History in 2006.
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