oral history in the digital age

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Oral History in the Digital Age. Rick Shriver Ohio University 2013. What is oral history?. The recorded interview, archived as a whole Once viewed as a supplement to the written history Documenting how historical events affect individuals - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Oral History in the Digital Age

Oral Historyin the Digital AgeRick ShriverOhio University2013What is oral history?The recorded interview, archived as a whole

Once viewed as a supplement to the written historyDocumenting how historical events affect individuals

A way to document aspects of history that are neglected

A way to document history of minority populationsWhere written tradition may not exist

Now more often viewed as a primary source for historical research (like photos, letters, etc.)

Why oral history?The erosion of the written traditionLess diary keeping, journalizing, letter-writing, preservation

Written form may not capture the nuance and the emotion

Helps young people overcome historical amnesiaby stimulating interest in historical eventsYounger audiences prefer to consume media content is small doses, for which oral history is well-suited

Can show the significance of an event on subculturesCrafted oral historyThe crafted oral history focuses the content on specific events or specific topics

The interview is directed rather than free from

Combined interviews can be edited documentary style

Can show the accumulated significance of events on given populations or individuals

PreparationUnderstanding oral history

Learning interview skills

Learning the equipment

Researching the local history

Research ethics and obtaining informed consentInformed consentAmerican Psychological Association, 2010the purpose of the research, expected duration, and procedures; their right to decline to participate and to withdraw from the research once participation has begun; the foreseeable consequences of declining or withdrawing; reasonably foreseeable factors that may be expected to influence their willingness to participate such as potential risks, discomfort, or adverse effects; any prospective research benefits; limits of confidentiality; incentives for participation; and whom to contact for questions about the research and research participants' rights.

InterviewingDeveloping the central research question

Seeking to bring a variety of perspectives to a common occurrence

Asking open-ended questions, allowing the subjects to talk freely, but bringing back to topic if needed

Monitoring interview fatigue, signs of stress

Photographing the interviewee and relevant materialsThe technologyThe digital recorder

.WAV files

44,100 Hz


The outcomeFull un-edited interviews for archive

Edited crafted oral history focusing on the subject


A video documentary

Attitudinal change in students