oral history

22 Jun 2012

Follow Friday: Oral History Association

Today’s Follow Friday is the Oral History Association, a non-profit organization started by academic historians that has much to offer the genealogist.

The Oral History Association advocates for “the oldest type of historical inquiry, predating the written word, and one of the most modern, initiated with tape recorders in the 1940s and now using 21st-century digital technologies.” Their Web site, Wiki and Best Practices standards are very helpful to the genealogist planning to interview a relative.


29 Nov 2011

Tuesday’s Tip: Oral History for the Family Historian: A Basic Guide

Want to brush up on your interviewing skills before you see relatives over the holidays? I recommend Oral History for the Family Historian: A Basic Guide by Linda Barnickel, published by the Oral History Association.

You can get it through Amazon for $15. The 70-page guide practical advice for conducting family oral history interviews. It also contains an extensive list of sample questions, a legal release form, and some tips about common pitfalls, and other suggested resources.


22 Nov 2011

Interviewing Relatives for Family History: Tuesday’s Tip

Will you have the opportunity to talk to some relatives during Thanksgiving weekend? If some of those stories you’ve heard more than once or the family member says they can’t remember, then ask about historical events.

One of the best ways to prompt memories in an interviewee is to ask where they were during historical events. I remember asking my grandmother about living in Chicago when she was first married. She was convinced she didn’t have any interesting stories, couldn’t remember what neighborhood or address they lived in, nothing.


18 Feb 2011

Veterans History Project: Follow Friday

February 1 marked the birthday of America’s sole remaining World War I veteran, Frank W. Buckles, who turned 110. In 1917, Mr. Buckles enlisted in the U.S. Army at age 16, saying he was 21. During the war, he drove motorcycles, cars, and ambulances in England and France, and during the Occupation he guarded German prisoners. Mr. Buckles eventually went to work for the White Star steamship line and was in Manila on business in December 1941 when the Japanese attacked. He spent over three years as a prisoner at the city’s University of Santo Tomas.

We know so much about Mr. Buckles’s eventful life because of the Veterans History Project at American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress. His collection there includes two interviews, given when he was 100 and 103 years old, as well as original documents and photographs.

Through personal narratives, visual materials, and correspondence, the Veterans History Project of the […]