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Oral history and the holocaust: a collection of poems from interviews with survivors of the holocaust - Oral History: Defined | Oral History Association



The Oral History Review 's second virtual issue takes up the theme of the 2017 OHA Annual Meeting, Engaging Audiences: Oral History and the Public. It brings together content in which oral historians grapple with their interactions with various publics, asking what roles we can play in both interpreting the past and shaping the present. These articles are intended to provide fodder for these conversations, and a chance to find connections between generations of scholars.

Oral History, Public History, and Historic Preservation: California Birds of a Feather
Knox Mellon, Issue 9.1, 1981.

At the Western Development Museum: Ethnic Identity and the Memory of the Holocaust in the Jewish Community of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Donna Krolik Hollenberg, Issue 27.2, 2000.

Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date . It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser .

Oral history is a field of study and a method of gathering, preserving and interpreting the voices and memories of people, communities, and participants in past events. Oral history is both the oldest type of historical inquiry, predating the written word, and one of the most modern, initiated with tape recorders in the 1940s and now using 21st-century digital technologies.

The Oral History Association offers several resources for you to learn about all facets of oral history.  OHA also offers a series of  publications  on community oral history, family oral history, oral history and the law, and other subjects.  Oral history is all about making contact with people, so join us at our annual meeting and please  join  the Oral History Association.

"Oral History" is a maddeningly imprecise term: it is used to refer to formal, rehearsed accounts of the past presented by culturally sanctioned tradition-bearers; to informal conversations about "the old days" among family members, neighbors, or coworkers; to printed compilations of stories told about past times and present experiences; and to recorded interviews with individuals deemed to have an important story to tell.

Each of these uses of the term has a certain currency. Unquestionably, most people throughout history have learned about the past through the spoken word. Moreover, for generations history-conscious individuals have preserved others' firsthand accounts of the past for the record, often precisely at the moment when the historical actors themselves, and with them their memories, were about to pass from the scene.

Though of considerable value, early efforts to record firsthand accounts of the past can be termed "oral history" by only the most generous of definitions. While methods of eliciting and recording them were more or less rigorous in any given case, the absence of audio- and videotape recorders--or digital recording devices--necessitated reliance on human note-takers, thus raising questions about reliability and veracity. Many early interviews were also idiosyncratic or extemporaneous efforts, conducted with no intention of developing a permanent archival collection.

Top, left to right: Margot Pinvidic, Matt Craven, Jack Blum, Sarah Torgov. Center: Keith Knight, Cindy Girling, Kristine DeBell, Bill Murray. Bottom: Norma Dell'Agnese and Todd Hoffman.

Top image from left: Todd Hoffman, Keith Knight, Bill Murray, Jack blum, Matt Craven. Bottom: Kristine DeBell and Margot Pinvidic.

The Oral History Review 's second virtual issue takes up the theme of the 2017 OHA Annual Meeting, Engaging Audiences: Oral History and the Public. It brings together content in which oral historians grapple with their interactions with various publics, asking what roles we can play in both interpreting the past and shaping the present. These articles are intended to provide fodder for these conversations, and a chance to find connections between generations of scholars.

Oral History, Public History, and Historic Preservation: California Birds of a Feather
Knox Mellon, Issue 9.1, 1981.

At the Western Development Museum: Ethnic Identity and the Memory of the Holocaust in the Jewish Community of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Donna Krolik Hollenberg, Issue 27.2, 2000.

Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date . It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser .

Oral history is a field of study and a method of gathering, preserving and interpreting the voices and memories of people, communities, and participants in past events. Oral history is both the oldest type of historical inquiry, predating the written word, and one of the most modern, initiated with tape recorders in the 1940s and now using 21st-century digital technologies.

The Oral History Association offers several resources for you to learn about all facets of oral history.  OHA also offers a series of  publications  on community oral history, family oral history, oral history and the law, and other subjects.  Oral history is all about making contact with people, so join us at our annual meeting and please  join  the Oral History Association.

"Oral History" is a maddeningly imprecise term: it is used to refer to formal, rehearsed accounts of the past presented by culturally sanctioned tradition-bearers; to informal conversations about "the old days" among family members, neighbors, or coworkers; to printed compilations of stories told about past times and present experiences; and to recorded interviews with individuals deemed to have an important story to tell.

Each of these uses of the term has a certain currency. Unquestionably, most people throughout history have learned about the past through the spoken word. Moreover, for generations history-conscious individuals have preserved others' firsthand accounts of the past for the record, often precisely at the moment when the historical actors themselves, and with them their memories, were about to pass from the scene.

Though of considerable value, early efforts to record firsthand accounts of the past can be termed "oral history" by only the most generous of definitions. While methods of eliciting and recording them were more or less rigorous in any given case, the absence of audio- and videotape recorders--or digital recording devices--necessitated reliance on human note-takers, thus raising questions about reliability and veracity. Many early interviews were also idiosyncratic or extemporaneous efforts, conducted with no intention of developing a permanent archival collection.

The Oral History Review 's second virtual issue takes up the theme of the 2017 OHA Annual Meeting, Engaging Audiences: Oral History and the Public. It brings together content in which oral historians grapple with their interactions with various publics, asking what roles we can play in both interpreting the past and shaping the present. These articles are intended to provide fodder for these conversations, and a chance to find connections between generations of scholars.

Oral History, Public History, and Historic Preservation: California Birds of a Feather
Knox Mellon, Issue 9.1, 1981.

At the Western Development Museum: Ethnic Identity and the Memory of the Holocaust in the Jewish Community of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Donna Krolik Hollenberg, Issue 27.2, 2000.

The Oral History Review 's second virtual issue takes up the theme of the 2017 OHA Annual Meeting, Engaging Audiences: Oral History and the Public. It brings together content in which oral historians grapple with their interactions with various publics, asking what roles we can play in both interpreting the past and shaping the present. These articles are intended to provide fodder for these conversations, and a chance to find connections between generations of scholars.

Oral History, Public History, and Historic Preservation: California Birds of a Feather
Knox Mellon, Issue 9.1, 1981.

At the Western Development Museum: Ethnic Identity and the Memory of the Holocaust in the Jewish Community of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Donna Krolik Hollenberg, Issue 27.2, 2000.

Your browser (Internet Explorer 7 or lower) is out of date . It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites. Learn how to update your browser .

Oral history is a field of study and a method of gathering, preserving and interpreting the voices and memories of people, communities, and participants in past events. Oral history is both the oldest type of historical inquiry, predating the written word, and one of the most modern, initiated with tape recorders in the 1940s and now using 21st-century digital technologies.

The Oral History Association offers several resources for you to learn about all facets of oral history.  OHA also offers a series of  publications  on community oral history, family oral history, oral history and the law, and other subjects.  Oral history is all about making contact with people, so join us at our annual meeting and please  join  the Oral History Association.


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