Oral History Resources
- To learn about the Southern Oral History Program’s background, read “Case Study: The Southern Oral History Program” (available through Google Books, pages 409-416), published in The Oxford Handbook of Oral History by Oxford University Press in 2011 and edited by Donald A. Ritchie.
SO YOU WANNA DO ORAL HISTORY…
Use these general resources in designing and realizing your oral history project.
- 10 Tips for Interviewers . A list of important things to remember and apply to help create a successful oral history.
- Our Practical Guide to Oral History is a general handbook covering a range of topics for planning and conducting an oral history project, like interviewing tips, budgeting, equipment, and sample forms.
- Oral History Bibliography. Our bibliography includes sections on oral history theory and methodology, ethical considerations and legal issues, citations to key journals and videotapes, and a compendium of exemplary books and articles based at least in part on oral history research.
- Principles and Best Practices. The Oral History Association provides guidance throughout all steps of the interview process, including understanding rights, developing thoughtful questions, and working in conjunction with a repository to preserve materials.
- The Oral History in the Digital Age site contains dozens of excellent resources from top professionals nationwide. There are essays, case studies, and tutorials on a wide range of topics, from picking out which equipment to use and planning your first oral history project to creating accession workflows and making your interviews publicly accessible.
- A Guide to Oral History and the Law. This text is an invaluable resource in handling and interpreting various legal and ethical issues in oral history. It also provides release and deed of gift templates to use in almost every conceivable situation, which are very useful in developing your own release forms.
- Our student handbook contains a variety of information about conducting oral histories as a Carolina student with access to UNC resources. Though designed particular for UNC students, the information and examples in the handbook may be useful to others interested in conducting oral histories.
- Not sure which digital recorder to use or purchase? Ask Doug!
- Community Oral History Toolkit by Nancy MacKay, Mary Kay Quinlan, and Barbara W. Sommer is the “definitive guide to all aspects of conducting successful community oral history projects that conform to best practices in the field.”
- The Smithsonian Folklore and Oral History Interviewing Guide and the American Folklife Center’s guide both provide great information and tips for conducting a family or community oral history projects.
Time and resources permitting, the SOHP offers workshops for groups of people interested in embarking on interview projects.
These websites will help you integrate oral histories into your classrooms.
- Like a Family, the online companion to the acclaimed history, Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World, is a great resource for teachers.
- Oral Histories of the American South offers quick access to audio and transcript of more than five hundred oral histories.
- Documenting the American South offers exceptional teaching resources that use oral histories, in particular Stories of the American South.
- The Library of Congress provides a guide for teachers on social and oral history.
Some sites of interest.
- The Oral History Association
- H-oralhist, a network for oral historians
- Baylor University’s Institute for Oral History
- The University of Florida’s Samuel Proctor Oral History Program
- Crossroads to Freedom, a digital archive of civil rights materials from Memphis, TN
- Columbia University Center for Oral History’s resources page