Donald A. Ritchie Doing Oral History

ISBN 13: 9780195154344

Doing Oral History

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9780195154344: Doing Oral History

Oral history is vital to our understanding of the cultures and experiences of the past. Unlike written history, oral history forever captures people's feelings, expressions, and nuances of language. But what exactly is oral history? How reliable is the information gathered by oral history? And what does it take to become an oral historian? Donald A. Ritchie, a leading expert in the field, answers these questions and in particular, explains the principles and guidelines created by the Oral History Association to ensure the professional standards of oral historians.

Doing Oral History has become one of the premier resources in oral history. It explores all aspects of the field, from starting an oral history project, including funding, staffing, and equipment to conducting interviews; publishing; videotaping; preserving materials; teaching oral history; and using oral history in museums and on the radio. In this second edition, the author has incorporated new trends and scholarship, updated and expanded the bibliography and appendices, and added a new focus on digital technology and the Internet. Appendices include sample legal release forms and information on oral history organizations.

Doing Oral History is a definitive step-by-step guide that provides advice and explanations on how to create recordings that illuminate human experience for generations to come. Illustrated with examples from a wide range of fascinating projects, this authoritative guide offers clear, practical, and detailed advice for students, teachers, researchers, and amateur genealogists who wish to record the history of their own families and communities.

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From the Back Cover:

The emphasis is on doing in this thorough guide to oral history theory, methods, and practice.

About the Author:


Donald A. Ritchie is Associate Historian in the United States Senate Historical Office, where he conducts an oral history program. A former president of the Oral History Association, he has served on the council of the American Historical Association, and chaired the Organization of American Historians' committee on research and access to historical documentation. He has conducted many oral history workshops, and for ten years, he edited the Twayne oral history series.

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