Can oral history be trusted

is oral history reliable

However, much of the interest in individual lives comes from the coherence and dissonance between related interviews and of the critical analysis of the life stories collectively as well as individually. The production of the cassette tape recorder was critical to the expansion of oral history practice in the s and s.

Can oral history be trusted

We also explore, to varying degrees, the extent to which the revolutionary rhetoric of transformation and innovation, of collaborative working and inclusivity is real and to what extent this rhetoric masks deeper tensions and critical voices; and finally what, if any, were the spaces for women in these different workplaces and evolving spaces. Although in the UK, at least, rigorous academic oral histories of elite communities as opposed to the more common celebratory, anniversary history projects, have been comparatively rare, in the US such studies have always represented a significant strand of oral history practice. It is impossible not to draw parallels between DH and oral history. The status or security of the narrator can influence the interview. Because community archives are often created as opposed to having been accumulated or collected over time Flinn , p , oral history has been integral to many such archives. Whose story counts? Google Scholar Sharpless, R. The interviews in the volume express this sense of solidarity very strongly, by generally affirming the significance of the community and the support it gave to individuals. Of course not all oral histories are created equal and are of similar value to the historical record. In the Gulf, where heritage is a project of the nation state al-Malki , oral history narratives can go through selective recording and purposeful curation. Google Scholar Perks, R.

Although in the UK, at least, rigorous academic oral histories of elite communities as opposed to the more common celebratory, anniversary history projects, have been comparatively rare, in the US such studies have always represented a significant strand of oral history practice.

One also wonders how many of them got much further and deeper than the celebratory and the anecdotal, and attempted the more rigorous examination advocated by Nevins. However, as Moe and Onley point out with regard to colonial documents, these kinds of records tend to deal with subjects of interest to colonial rulers such as politics and trade and do not generally provide good coverage of local culture.

importance of oral history

The societies in the Arabian Gulf may not have the privilege of the questioning of the historical validity of oral histories and their place in formal archives. Before outlining some of the issues surfaced by using oral history to document foundational stories of DH as a discipline, this chapter will look briefly at the use of oral history in some other analogous professional and academic settings.

strengths and weaknesses of oral history

Outside of museums, there is a surplus, perhaps even an excess, of oral history projects on Qatar. The historian must make choices about what is his or her relationship to these histories, how these histories are to be written, what sources are to be used and to what purpose.

As suggested earlier, we are consistently struck by the extent to which the experience of oral historians mirrors that of Digital Humanists. For example, a current employee is likely to be far less candid about his or her experiences of an employer than will someone who is retired.

Oral history allows us to explore many sides of an issue through multiple first-hand accounts, which gives historians the opportunity to uncover the many layers of meaning embedded in the stories and provides insights into how people understand and interpret the past and their place in it.

Purpose of oral history

Google Scholar Geiger, T. Most, but not all, of the interviewees recall some antagonism or even hostility from other Humanities scholars in the early days of their careers and engagements with technology. A community or collective focus allows the interviewer to explore how and why individual and collective memories interact and to uncover what tacit knowledge underpins the community and is understood but frequently unacknowledged by members. One also wonders how many of them got much further and deeper than the celebratory and the anecdotal, and attempted the more rigorous examination advocated by Nevins. Shryock , who extensively studied the modern-day writing down of Bedouin oral traditions of Jordan, argues that the Arab tribal oral tradition rests in the shadow of official written accounts, be they of the current nation state, historical religious scholars, or colonial powers. Google Scholar Plummer, K. Authors and Affiliations. What can influence the content of an oral history interview? In: Sonbol AE ed Gulf women. Google Scholar Bornat, J. In fact, he goes even further to say that [o]ral histories that lack such essentials as adequate documentation of the process of their creation, transcripts for each interview, narrator contracts, and other important elements can seldom be considered viable candidates for acquisition. After discussing archival concerns about the evidentiary nature of oral histories, this paper explores how it has come to be a crucial documentation tool in the Gulf, adapted to the specific nation building and cultural heritage priorities of the region. Although the Indian subcontinent was the main focus of the records, they hold valuable information on the colonial dealings in the Gulf which was a strategically important location for the British. Unlike much social science qualitative interviewing, for instance, oral history is often archival in its nature and intention. Oral History Review, 37 2 , —

Who owns oral history? Some projects have aimed to study professional and academic communities.

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Why Oral History?