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Re-introducing Oral History in the Digital Age

By Caitlin Tyler-Richards

This week, in the spirit of our upcoming special issue on oral history’s evolving technologies, we want to (re)introduce everyone to the website Oral History in the Digital Age, a substantial collaboration between several institutions to “put museums, libraries, and oral historians in a position to address collectively issues of video, digitization, preservation, and intellectual property and to provide both a scholarly framework and regularly updated best practices for moving forward.”

We especially want to direct people to the site’s “Thinking Big” video series, which features reflections by top scholars on the evolving relationship between oral history and digital media. Below is one of the videos from the series, an interview with United States Senate historian and author of Doing Oral History Don Ritchie. We’ve also include a quiz to test readers on the oral history and digital media.

“And I discovered that the basic fundamental practices of doing oral history have not changed. The face to face interviews, the types of things you need to do to research and to engage a person, to draw them out and to ask non-leading questions, open ended questions and things like that — that stayed the same regardless of what the technology is. But everything around it changed.”

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Caitlin Tyler-Richards is the editorial/ media assistant at the Oral History Review. When not sharing profound witticisms at @OralHistReview, Caitlin pursues a PhD in African History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research revolves around the intersection of West African history, literature and identity construction, as well as a fledgling interest in digital humanities. Before coming to Madison, Caitlin worked for the Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice at Georgetown University.

The Oral History Review, published by the Oral History Association, is the U.S. journal of record for the theory and practice of oral history. Its primary mission is to explore the nature and significance of oral history and advance understanding of the field among scholars, educators, practitioners, and the general public. Follow them on Twitter at @oralhistreview and like them on Facebook to preview the latest from the Review, learn about other oral history projects, connect with oral history centers across the world, and discover topics that you may have thought were even remotely connected to the study of oral history. Keep an eye out for upcoming posts on the OUPblog for addendum to past articles, interviews with scholars in oral history and related fields, and fieldnotes on conferences, workshops, etc.

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Recent Comments

  1. [...] for moving forward.” Includes video interview with Don Ritchie.  For full story click here. Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged digital age, digital media, Don Ritchie, oral history, [...]

  2. [...] We can all learn a new digital approach. New media provides both challenges and opportunities for us all. Technology has shifted the collection and dissemination of oral history. Oral historians must decide on how to address fellow historians and the general public. We could even quiz you on it. [...]

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