Oral History Resources

Oral History Associations

The Washington State Oral History Program is a member of the Oral History Association (OHA) which publishes guidelines and evaluation standards on best practices in oral history. Information on the Association and these standards can be found at: http://www.dickinson.edu/organizations/oha/

The Program is also a member of the Northwest Oral History Association (NOHA). Information about this organization and local oral history events can be found at: http://www.his.state.mt.us/finduse/noha.asp

Recommended Oral History Manuals

For a comprehensive and authoritative examination and guide to oral history interviewing and project planning, we highly recommend a recent publication by Don Ritchie, who is the US Senate oral historian, "Doing Oral History," published by Oxford University Press in 2003.

The Oral History Association publishes pamphlets that address specific oral history topics. The following titles are also highly recommended and available from their Website at http://www.dickinson.edu/organizations/oha/pub_ps.html

  • "Oral History and the Law" by John A. Neuenschwander
  • "Oral History Projects in Your Classroom" by Linda P. Wood
  • "Using Oral History in Community History Projects" by Laurie Mercier and Madeline Buckendorf
  • "Oral History Evaluation Guidelines"

Several oral history programs post guidelines and manuals on the Internet to help students and others plan and execute oral history projects. We suggest the following sites as helpful places to begin learning about oral history techniques:

California State University, Long Beach Oral History Primer

University of California at Berkeley

Baylor University Institute for Oral History:

Oral History in the Classroom

Oral history can be a very effective tool to use in the classroom. "The Foxfire Books" describe an early program that produced a series of well known studies of rural life. Many of the manuals available can be adapted to classroom use, but several address the particular needs of teachers. See the Oral History Association pamphlet "Oral History Projects in Your Classroom" by Linda P. Wood, for guidance on how to plan and produce oral histories with students. Available on the Association Website: http://www.dickinson.edu/organizations/oha/pub_ps.html

For more information on setting up an oral history project in the classroom, the Library of Congress has created a site that includes lesson plans, guidelines, sample oral histories and other helpful materials at: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/lessons/oralhist/ohhome.html

For teachers, a very interesting and inspirational project is described at: http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/1968/ "The Whole World Was Watching: An Oral History of 1968" was a joint project between South Kingstown High School and Brown University in Rhode Island conducted in 1998. The site includes a glossary, timeline, bibliography of references, transcripts and discussions about the project by participants.