Creating Oral Histories

Now that oral histories have piqued your interest, want to know what it takes to get started in compiling your own?

 

Further Reading About Oral Histories

Let’s take a look at some background resources on oral histories, as well as some tips for starting your own oral history on a smaller scale.

History of Oral History: Foundations and Methodology edited by Thomas L. Charlton, Ph.D.; Lois E. Myers; and Rebecca Sharpless, Ph.D.
Edited by three leading oral history experts, this book provides a comprehensive look back at the art of developing oral histories, with interviews on various related topics. It is an example and overview in one.

The Oral History Workshop: Collect and Celebrate the Life Stories of Your Family and Friends by Cynthia Hart
This practical and inspirational guide offer tips for creating an oral history from start to finish, including an extensive collection of thought-provoking questions to use in interviews.

Doing Oral History by Donald A. Richie
This handbook covers the theory, methods and practice of oral history as a way to illuminate the human experience. It provides clear, practical advice for anyone looking to record family or community histories.

Step-by-Step Guide to Oral History
Created by historian and educator Judith Moyer, this online toolkit gives you everything you need to know to start collecting people’s stories in an oral history. She covers suggestions and strategies, addresses issues that might arise, and offers suggestions for additional resources.

South Yorkshire Women in Industry Project Oral History Toolkit
This comprehensive toolkit was developed in 2009 based on the successful experiences of oral history projects in South Yorkshire to help others understand effective ways to set up and carry out oral history projects. It offers simple and accessible advice on all stages of a project, including where to turn for more information.

Top Ten Tips for Great Interview Stories
This about.com guide will help beginners understand simple steps for helping conversation flow in oral history interviews by making both the interviewer and the storyteller comfortable.

Also, don’t forget to check out the Listening Is an Act of Love Readers Guide first presented on The Book page. It includes tips, checklists, and several pages of possible questions to get you started on recording your own oral histories.

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