ERIC Number: ED204250
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
From Memory to History: Using Oral Sources in Local Historical Research.
Allen, Barbara; Montell, William Lynwood
This guidebook examines the kinds of oral history materials available to local researchers and presents ways to evaluate and interpret those materials. There are six chapters. Chapter one describes the relevance and scope of local history, the role of the interviewer within the community, the contributions that oral sources can make to local history, and the differences between folklore and oral history. Chapter two examines the characteristics of orally communicated history that set it apart from formal, written history, including the disregard for standard chronology, use of visual imagery in storytelling, and the telescoping of events in time. The second part of chapter two describes the settings in which oral information about the past is communicated, including informal conversations as well as formal interviews. Chapter three identifies a number of topics that the local historian is likely to encounter such as personal and family experiences, occupations, and events and persons in the community's past. Consideration is given to specific ways in which these materials can be used in local history. Chapter four contains internal and external tests for testing oral sources for historical validity. Chapter five suggests ways in which oral history can be evaluated to reveal hidden truths. The last chapter presents specific suggestions for incorporating oral historical materials into a written manuscript. (Author/RM)
Descriptors: Community Study, Evaluation Criteria, Historiography, Interviews, Local History, Oral History, Primary Sources, United States History
American Association for State and Local History, 1400 Eighth Avenue, South, Nashville, TN 37203 ($12.15 nonmembers, $9.50 members).
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Books
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Endowment for the Humanities (NFAH), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: American Association for State and Local History, Nashville, TN.