But once she began interviewing the women, one by one, Malone realized that this question—neutral yet probing, simple yet cutting straight to the core of the narrative—was the perfect place to begin a painful discussion.
And it just went from there. Ask open-ended questions. Get people talking, and keep them talking. So Malone edited the transcripts down by theme: how the women met Cosby, what happened, and why they came forward.
And the story that resulted was something of a hybrid. StoryCorps, perhaps more than any other organization, has helped make oral history mainstream. The project, which has recorded some 65, conversations since , archiving them at the Library of Congress, specializes in recording first-person voices.
Last year, the organization made it even easier for people to preserve their stories, launching a free mobile app that has since notched up nearly 80, interviews. And I think this is a way of doing that. People are gravitating now to first-person story voices more than they have in a long time. Long interested in oral history, Bingham decided to do the book—the story of the turbulent times from to , told through the voices of the peaceniks, protesters, and others who lived them—in the form.
But by the fall of , her initial excitement was spiraling into doubt. At the very least, we must be aware of the limitations of oral history in order not to mislead ourselves into believing that oral history automatically yields accurate renditions of past events. Because oral history depends upon living people as sources, we have limits; we can go back one lifetime.
Because oral history uses spoken, not written sources, the allowable evidence expands. Even in the absence of written documentation, groups such as women, minorities, and the not-famous have been able to record their own histories and the histories of those they consider important using oral history.
History is no longer limited to the powerful, famous, and rich, and literate. Now history can give us a much more inclusive, and, one hopes, accurate picture of the past. Used to accurately record oral narratives, the inexpensive portable tape recorder helped democratize the gathering of history.
Interestingly, while technology in the form of the tape recorder is responsible in part for the spread of oral history techniques, technology is also to blame in part for the need for oral history. Rather than write letters, for instance, people travel to see each other or they make telephone calls that dissolve into air.
Now electronic mail via computers may make written records even more scarce. Trained to depend on written records, traditional historians have been known to shudder in horror at the potential problems and inherent weaknesses of oral history. What of the failings of human memory?
What of the human tendency to impose a narrative structure on events that may not be closely connected? What of the self-serving motives of the story teller? What of the power relationships between interviewer and interviewee that affect what and how events are reported? What of the differences between the spoken and written word? What of the inaccuracies that creep into meaning when trying to put a conversation onto paper? Well, many of the same problems arise in using written records.
Written sources can carry personal or social biases. Written sources occur within a social context. As an example, newspaper accounts contemporary with events often suffer from historical inaccuracy because of the ideological slants of reporters and editorial staff, because of the availability of sources, because of advertisers' interests, and because of the need to sell interesting stories that the public wants to buy.
Yet these same newspaper accounts can be used as historical evidence of people's attitudes and interpretations. Even historical analysis published by professional historians intent on upholding the best standards in their field still falls short of that elusive goal, a complete and totally objective account of events.
How about films and photographs? Can the camera remain objective and give us an accurate view of events? The narrator's responses and sometimes the student's analysis of the responses will form the content of the story. The student chooses the significant aspects of the interview to focus on and quotes directly from the interview. Possible Public Forums The research is complete, the questions asked and answered, and the interview is indexed and transcribed.
What should you do with this "gold mine" of information? Here are a few suggestions: Audio documentary Technically challenging, a radio documentary can provide one of the most accessible project outcomes.
While radio documentaries were made long before digital recordings were available, digital DAT recording permits mixing and editing the sound on a computer. A local radio station may be willing to help with this project and may air the documentary. The student can edit the narrator's voice from the recorded interview to focus on the most interesting and dramatic stories told. Students might also want to record an introduction or an audio essay that incorporates interview segments.
Video documentary Also technically challenging, a video will provide even greater accessibility than radio. Many schools have video production equipment. Preparing a to minute program is an exciting way to present the information to the public.
As with the radio script, the student selects the most dramatic stories. In addition to the video of the narrator speaking, the student or audiovisual specialist may insert photographs, maps, and video footage depicting some of the events, as well as copyright-free music and voiceover narration. Computer Presentation This forum uses the recorded voice or voices of the narrator s , with photographs and portraits depicting the events.
Music, narration, and dialogue can be combined with archival photographs and amateur snapshots. Exhibit If they have gathered and duplicated photographs, newspaper articles, and other documents, or if they have taken photographs of the narrators during the project, students can produce an exhibit. Brief excerpts from the interviews make excellent captions for an exhibit in the school, library, or a local building.
For an exhibit, consider using the National History Day standard and assigning students—individually or in small teams—their own sections to design and produce. Tour If students have studied a community or a neighborhood, they can lead or record a tour of a local building, neighborhood, park, or other site, using passages from oral history interviews to enliven local history. They could also design a travel brochure to go along with the tour. Performance You may be able to work with your students to produce a play based on the many narratives in the interviews.
Since the interviews are spoken words, the words and phrases lend themselves to such a production. World Wide Web In many schools, the technology is available to produce an interactive multimedia program or to create a dedicated site on the World Wide Web, combining sound and text from the tape-recorded interviews, photographs, film and video footage, and print and historical documentation.
The Web is a perfect medium to present an oral history project to the public. In addition, links to related Internet resources add to the historical content. A public program is an appropriate outcome for an oral history project because it has involved the public from the start. It's also an excellent opportunity for students to earn recognition for their hard work.
Invite the project narrators, school administrators, parents, and other public figures, as well as the local press, to a reception when you launch your public program. Both the process and the content should be evaluated. Also, students should be told at the beginning of the project how their work will be evaluated. The process of an oral history project includes preparing the questions, setting up the interview, getting the correct forms filled out and returned, labeling the material, meeting the deadlines, and, finally, the students' conduct and responsibility throughout the oral history project.
Each human life is a brief historical note, which becomes part of the song of life. If recordings are composed of the voices, the future can listen and learn. Historians and scholars, who include our young students, strive to find answers to the questions Why? Why then and not now? Why here and not there? Why you and not them? These questions are the puzzling pieces of history. A classroom oral history project will suggest answers for the future by preserving the pieces of the past.
E-mail: peaceful cox. EDU , affiliated with the Oral History Association , is an H-Net network for scholars and professionals active in studies related to oral history. The Oral History Association promotes the international teaching and practice of oral history through the publication Oral History Review, an annual conference, and a variety of publications. E-mail: OHA dickinson. For connections to your Social Studies standards, check your state's Department of Education. Baum, Willa K.
Oral History for the Local Historical Society. History has been a rite of passage for many Colorado Academy sophomores since the early s. Their odyssey begins in May when I meet with the enrollees, lay out the expectations, announce the summer reading assignment, and offer encouragement. While some emerge from the meeting a bit disheveled, most are confident, buoyed by the fact that they have demonstrated the requisite talents to take the plunge into a course that is supposed to be the equivalent of a college level course.
Fast forward to the first day of classes, and the tensions quickly mount This essay will firstly discuss the development of print, in particular the revolution of the printing press, and secondly explaining the impacts of the print revolution on oral traditions in The Indigenous Tribes.
For each discussion medium and meaning theory will be applied which will allow for a stronger supporting argument. In the pre print revolution era, oral traditions allowed various cultures to be alive and engaged throughout the generations by telling individuals orally, historical stories, beliefs practices and values Bagchi Blood samples were collected at the times indicated in the Figure 1 for biochemical analysis as described previously Cobbaert et al, , Hannan et al Sucrose absorption in the gut Normal and type 2 diabetic rats were administered sucrose solution 2.
Blood samples were collected by tail vein puncture at prior to sucrose administration and at times indicated in Figures 1G and 1H for blood glucose measurement Abraham, his descendants, and Moses are believed to have been the founders. According to Jewish beliefs until Abraham man worshiped many Gods. The story begins with Abraham and his wife Sarah trying to conceive a child.
When Abraham was 99 and Sarah 90 God came to Abraham and told him they would have a son. After the child was born God again came to Abraham and tested his beliefs by asking him to sacrifice his only son Isaac.
Isaac willingly went with Abraham to be sacrificed Richard and Margaret function as two characters opposed to each other with regard to history; Richard attempts to cover up the past as Margaret attempts to expose it.
However, the creation and acceptance of history is largely predicated on more common figures. In particular the scrivener, a seemingly small side character, becomes an integral figure who creates the documentation of history, cementing the written version as a truth We see this oral of history through the eyes of Sundiata.
A young king whom was cast out from his kingdom at a very early age because he was not believed to be the actual ruler since he came from such different circumstances. Sundiata was born through the word of a prophecy. His father Fatta one day welcomed a griot into his court. This specific hunter came bearing news of a prophecy. The prophecy being that the great ruler of Mali must marry and bear a child with an ugly hunchbacked woman It is important to remember that all of the colonies were British, from Maine to Georgia.
The exact ethnic origins of the south are difficult to determine and not well documented Studies show that the Aboriginal genome can be traced back seventy-five thousand years to when this community first migrated from Africa to Australia. As the oldest known continuous culture, their traditions and rituals have thrived even though the world around them has changed so drastically. In the beginning of the book, author and protagonist N.
Scott Momaday, is introduced as a grown man of Kiowa descent. Though he expresses interest in the area of his Kiowa heritage, it is evident that he has minimal connection with his Native American ancestors and way of life His emphasis on the transcendence of the human being points toward using the incomprehensible mystery in human experience to measure understanding, rather than attempting to capture the Divine within anthropomorphic knowledge. They were the only people in Northern America until the end of the 15th century.
Soon after, in the 16th and 17th centuries, many people from Europe traveled to America. This caused many problems for the American Indians. The European diseases and weapons caused many deaths among the Native Americans. They were abused by the newcomers who stole their land and treated them badly. There were wars between Indian tribes that caused injury and death Judaism originated in B. This faith perspective is based on the patriarchal narratives in the Hebrew Bible, accordingly tracing the birth of their nation.
Along with this text, the origin is associated with Abraham, who was nomadic herder that entered a unconditional covenant with God, as he is promised to be the father of a great nation, be given a good land, and in return nothing is expected Libraries usually try to acquire materials that have been printed or published; however, some libraries also have special collections.
Before materials are placed on bookshelves or somewhere else in the library, the library staff must first select, purchase from publishers or agencies, catalog and create MARC records, and finish up with the entire book binding process. The now-a-days libraries have a vast variety of collections of all sorts of materials in many different formats, such as hard-copy books, magazines, newspapers, videos, CDs, CD-ROMs, DVDs, free and subscription-based documents, periodicals, images, and electronically available multimedia Fourie, Odysseus reluctantly tells his story after King Alcinou notices his weeping during a minstrel, which was about the fall of Troy.However, the essay and acceptance of history is largely predicated on more common figures. Do I history to adjust my research design. As you research your topic, scan and make overheads of the personal papers, family photographs, newspaper articles, and public documents that you find most useful. Over the past three public history labs, we have had the pleasure of learning about a many of these methods Question-and-answer format The student may choose to wife as the person asking the Apacer card reader am404 synthesis.
The narrator has the right to restrict use of the interview, or to exclude parts of it or to remain anonymous. Richard and Margaret function as two characters opposed to each other with regard to history; Richard attempts to cover up the past as Margaret attempts to expose it. Oral history can be a valuable source of evidence for understanding the experiences of individuals or groups within a certain historical period. I needed each one of my characters to tell their entire story. If you answered B.
Most people have come to believe that poetry was so widely used due to the fact that it was far easier to memorize then prose, and during the time of texts like the Odyssey, oral recitation was the number one way of relaying information from one individual to another Even in the absence of written documentation, groups such as women, minorities, and the not-famous have been able to record their own histories and the histories of those they consider important using oral history. They also give advice on how to properly brush and floss, the types of foods to avoid, and give examples of what teeth could look like if not taken care of correctly. It wasn 't easy but I was able to get the hang of everything
Remind the student that the story is not fiction and situations that did not happen should not be invented or created. Oral History for the Local Historical Society. Were the people I interviewed the right ones for my research? He met a woman, got married, and settled down on the West Coast. The decision kept her page book in the first-person and revealed something else about oral history as a form: The rules are fungible. You may want to use this sample release form PDF.
She had begun the project thinking it would be simpler than penning a traditional nonfiction narrative.
What changes should I make? Questions of accuracy are not unique to oral history.
What was your reaction when you knew you were drafted. Their odyssey begins in May when I meet with the enrollees, lay out the expectations, announce the summer reading assignment, and offer encouragement.
The public, not sensitive to Native culture, then controls the success and future publication of the stories Great journalists, including Studs Terkel and George Plimpton, began to play around with the form, inventing something new.
The project, which has recorded some 65, conversations since , archiving them at the Library of Congress, specializes in recording first-person voices. We organize the memories of our lives into narratives stories. Develop a Knowledge Base Start the classroom research by generating a list of questions with your students. For example, is there a major industry? While radio documentaries were made long before digital recordings were available, digital DAT recording permits mixing and editing the sound on a computer.
The assignment itself may specify quite clearly what kind of an oral history project you may do or leave many of the choices up to you.