Doing oral history

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Twayne Publishers, 1995 - History - 265 pages
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In this thorough guide to oral history theory, methods, and practice, Donald A. Ritchie, a prominent U.S. scholar in the field, synthesizes and builds on the extensive literature in manuals and fieldwork guides, to provide the first oral history handbook to address individual researchers as well as organized project teams (whether novices or veterans in the field), to cover videotaping as well as audio recording, and to support both teachers and archivists in their use of oral history records. Illustrating his guidelines with colorful examples from a wide range of fascinating projects, Ritchie offers clear, practical, and detailed advice on such issues as obtaining funding, staffing, and equipment; conducting interviews; publishing; videotaping; preserving materials; teaching oral history; and using oral histories in museums, on radio, in therapy, and in interactive video. Throughout, Ritchie stimulates researchers to consider and focus on the unique aspects of their individual projects as well as the special rewards and results of the recordings they make. As he states at the outset, Ritchie's emphasis is on doing. His definitive guide provides all the practical advice and explanations contemporary oral historians require to turn their ideas and goals into action, and to create recordings that illuminate human experience for generations to come.

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An Oral History of Our Time
Starting an Oral History Project
Conducting Interviews

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About the author (1995)

Donald A. Ritchie is Associate Historian in the United States Senate Historical Office, where he conducts an oral history program. A former president of the Oral History Association, he has served on the council of the American Historical Association, and chaired the Organization of American
Historians' committee on research and access to historical documentation. He has conducted many oral history workshops, and for ten years, he edited the Twayne oral history series.

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