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Blogging oral history

It’s been six months since we at Oral History Review (OHR) started blogging regularly at the OUPblog, so we think now is a good time to look back on the last few months. We’ve discussed everything from the historiography of oral history to the challenges of recording interviews on recent history, and we’ve approached these issues with essays, q&as, timelines, quizzes, and podcasts.

Our first post talked about the promise of how oral history can work with other fields. It’s important to remember how we can work with others and how their work can inform our own. One of the strengths of oral history is the ability to take an interdisciplinary approach.

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.

In fact, when Oral History Review staff looked through the responses to our survey on print versus online publishing, we learned that over 50% of our readers haven’t activated their online subscriptions, and nearly 20% are not sure whether they have activated their accounts or not. We’ve set up a brief tutorial on the Oxford Journals website to guide you through the process.

Image of a man holding a dictograph, a small recording device used for gaining evidence, in a room in Chicago, Illinois. Chicago Daily News, Inc., photographer. 1912 Feb. 3. DN-0058190, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago History Museum. Library of Congress.

We’ve also begun the Oral History Review podcast, which features interviews with leading oral historians including Michael Gillette, Jason Steinhauer, Roger Davis Gatchet, and Stephen Sloan. In our last post, managing editor Troy Reeves spoke with issue 40.1 contributor Lindsey Barnes about her upcoming article with Kim Guise, “World War Words: The Creation of a World War II-Specific Vocabulary for the Oral History Collection at the National WWII Museum.” Good news, that article is now available online at our Oxford Journals website.

Whether discussing community identity, a common vocabulary, or our students, the different approaches of our fellow oral historians have been enlightening. Moreover, it’s quite the reversal for many of us to be on the other side of the recorder and it has helped us appreciate the challenge that others may have in opening up to us.

Finally, although our field is called oral history, we continue to address issues that are relevant today. It informs and provides perspective on current issues, and some history is lived every day.

As always, we invite your comments and ideas on how we can continue to examine our field in new ways and address different matters.

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. prashant bhatt

    Thanks for posting this educative and informative series. We in Tripoli, Libya have tried to apply these in projects for recording narratives of Diaspora and War-Affected persons in the backdrop of the 2011 Libyan Chapter of Arab Spring. The techniques and orientations have helped us interrogate various layers and meanings. Keep up the great inspiring work.

  2. [...] Blogging Oral History The Oral History Review looks back at the first six months of their contributions to OUPblog. [...]

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