Affordable Booklets From Oral History Association


oral history law booklet
Oral History and the Law
oral history for classroom booklet
Classroom Practices
oral history evaluation booklet
Evaluation Guidelines

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StoryCorps Griot

Smithsonian Museums


At the Griot StoryBooth, participants record their stories in pairs, oftentimes friends or loved ones, where one person interviews the other. A trained facilitator guides the participants through the interview process and handles the technical aspects of the recording.


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Oral History Association

'P. S.: Further Thoughts From a Lifetime of Listening' by Studs Terkel

Tim Rutten | Los Angeles Times

Book Review


Studs Terkel, who died last month at the age of 96, was America's most popular oral historian.


Though never a "writer" of the first rank, he nevertheless was a unique contributor to American letters and a vital link to the current of idealistic indigenous radicalism that once enlivened it. "P. S.: Further Thoughts From a Lifetime of Listening" is, as the title suggests, a bit of an afterthought in a long career heavy with well-deserved honors that included a 1985 Pulitzer Prize for the iconoclastic "The Good War" and a definitive popular history of the Great Depression, "Hard Times."



Recording Family History




Oral Histories Can Strengthen Families


Listening to the older members of your family talk about their lives can be an enriching experience. Taping the experience and taking notes can add treasure to your own life.

My Recording Kit and How I Chose It

Family Oral History Using Digital Tools

Susan A. Kitchens


My audio recording setup was recently featured on the Genealogy Guys podcast, and I’ve long wanted to describe it here. Why haven’t I? In order to follow the course of a story of weighing this or that feature, one must have an understanding of the feature in the first place. So I’ve had to lay some groundwork. >>More

video recorder


Kodak Zi6 HD

Pocket Video Camera




Step-by-Step Oral History Guide | Judith Moyer


We all have stories to tell, stories we have lived from the inside out. We give our experiences an order. We organize the memories of our lives into stories.


Oral history listens to these stories. Oral history is the systematic collection of living people’s testimony about their own experiences. Historians have finally recognized that the everyday memories of everyday people, not just the rich and famous, have historical importance. If we do not collect and preserve those memories, those stories, then one day they will disappear forever. >>More

The Interview

Smithsonian Folklife and Oral History Interview Guide


The memories, stories, and traditions of the people you interview grow out of firsthand knowledge and experience. Created and shaped in community life, they are continually being adapted and changed to meet new circumstances and needs. When interviewing members of your family or local community, be sure to seek out not only what they can tell you about the past, but what they can tell you about life in the present. How have certain family traditions evolved? What holiday customs are practiced today that weren't a generation ago? What special foodways and rituals are part of community celebrations and why? What skills and abilities are needed to practice a particular craft or trade? How are these skills learned, mastered, and passed on to younger generations?


Whenever possible, ask the tradition-bearer you are interviewing for stories and anecdotes about the topic you are interested in. Stories are important sources of information for the community researcher — they encapsulate attitudes and beliefs, wisdom and knowledge that lie at the heart of a person's identity and experience. >>More