Help for Family Oral History at Baylor U

Some very good guidelines on family oral history at Baylor’s Institute for Oral History website. Go thou and read them. It’s a good distillation that touches on all the salient points.

On this site, I bounce between techno-geeky details of digital audio (currently in focus with the analog/digital article I just posted) and the very human-to-human methods to interview family members. The 10 steps listed on the Baylor Family Oral History site deal far more with the approach to the interview/the family history, how to structure it, how to ask questions “Ask broad, open-ended questions. Above all, be a good listener. Allow the interviewee time to think.” and coming up with a within-the-family written agreement.

The concusion of Item #2—Think far into the future to the possibilities for using and preserving the historical document you’re about to create—has this ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on May 04, 2006 in • Links
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Controversy over Brooklyn neighborhood oral history project

Queen Ledger: Historical Underground Railroad meets Redevelopment meets Eminent Domain meets Oral History. Result: Embattled and embittered. The oral histories are part of the battle between city and residents, and methods used in the oral history have become a part of the controversy.

The Duffield Street neighborhood was the site of the underground railroad. Should all the homes be bought by the city and sold to a developer to be made into a parking lot?

At the fight’s core is a dispute between residents and the city about whether houses along Duffield Street were part of the Underground Railroad, and thus part of a crucial piece of national history that should be preserved.

The latest saga in this fierce battle between the city and its residents centers around collecting a proper oral history of the neighborhood. Residents claim that the oral history recorded by the city is false and riddled with errors.

Oral histories were recorded in late December 2005 and ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on May 03, 2006 in • Oral history in the newsTranscription
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Amistad Research Center in New Orleans

Louisiana Weekly profiles the Research Center, and its goals and mission, post-Katrina: Named for the slave ship whose passengers revolted and mutinied in 1839, the Amistad Research Center “is the nation’s oldest, largest, and most prestigious independent archives specializing in the history of African-Americans and other ethnic groups.”

The Center’s archives holds over six hundred manuscript collections, containing more than ten million original or one-of-a-kind documents, including rare and first edition books, photographs, manuscripts, letters, diaries and memoirs, oral histories, and videos and audio tapes.

[...]Hampton said the Amistad Center will help preserve the history of Katrina by documenting the recent Diaspora through oral history interviews, photographs, and papers, while continuing to provide photographs, documents and information on New Orleans’ history and America’s ethnic heritage. An invaluable asset to Tulane University and the city of New Orleans, the center also sponsors conferences, art ...Read More

Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on in • Oral History Projects
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