Oral History NSW
Giving Voice to the Past
Giving Voice to the Past

Why do oral history?


Resources for Oral History

  • Giving voice to the past: oral history records multiple voices of history, not just the voices usually found in written records. For example a factory oral history will record the experience of all levels workers in the canteen, on the assembly line, supervisors, managers, company directors, union leaders etc.

  • Making history human: oral history can record personal recollections about roles and relationships, particular events and settings, and responses to people and issues We can discover how and why people do the work they do, what they gain from it, and what they feel about it.
  • Understanding meaning: oral history can record many first-hand experiences representing diverse views about an issue. It may uncover many layers of meaning embedded in the stories. It also gives insight as to how people understand and interpret the past and their place in it.

  • Hearing communities: Oral historians can bring to life and demonstrate the importance of the stories, experiences, struggles and meanings of the individuals who built, preserved, and transformed communities.

  • Preserving speech: oral history provides a record of the way people speak: voices, accents,and vocabularies.

Oral History NSW encourages all oral historians to deposit their oral history interviews in a state, local or national repository where they can be made available to other researchers.

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