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Doing Oral History Paperback – August 7, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0195154344 ISBN-10: 0195154347 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (August 7, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195154347
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195154344
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,731 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"A comprehensive handbook on the theory, methods, and practice of oral history, based on work by the Oral History Association to revise its professional standards and principles." --Book News, Inc. (on a previous edition)


"Donald Ritchie...has produced an invaluable manual that will serve research scholars and teachers equally well. ... Without pretension, Doing Oral History fulfills the promise touted on the jacket cover: to provide 'practical advice and reasonable explanations for anyone.' ... [A] significant contribution to making oral history accessible to a wide audience of potential users." --The History Teacher


"Written in a friendly question-and-answer format, this book gives advice for preparing, setting up, and conducting an interview. ... Ritchie's step-by-step guide will help you preserve your family's experiences for generations to come." --Family Tree


"Ritchie has laid out the fundamentals to guide novices and given long-term practitioners material that will help them re-evaluate their own approaches. This book needs to be on every oral historian's shelf." --Northwest Oral History Association


"This book is not a dustcatcher. It is destined to be dog-eared and full of underlined passages, from the first time you pick it up. In a user-friendly question-and-answer format, much like an oral history interview, Don Ritchie has packed into one modest volume enough practical advice to get an oral history project off the ground, help a novice oral historian conduct a responsible interview, and challenge more experienced oral historians, librarians, and archivists who might use oral history to think broadly about the impact of what they are doing." --Mid-Atlantic Archivist


"[The] standard work for many years to come." --Public Historian


"Simple, straightforward, and effective. ... [A] stimulating and formidable work...it is indeed a guide to practice, but it is much more: it is a stepping-off point to the increasingly large universe that oral history pracititioners occupy." --Oral History Review


"[An] all-purpose guide to the entire range of the oral history process...this volume provides extensive background on oral history and its relation to the larger realm of historical inquiry, discusses how oral history interviewing compares with journalistic and other interviewing techniques, and considers the workings of the human memory." --American Archivist


"A definitive guide that provides all the practical advice and explanations needed to turn your ideas and goals into action and to create recordings that illuminate the human experience for generations to come. Definitely recommended." --The Ultimate Puzzle: Family Research


"[A] comprehensive and up-to-date overview of the art of oral history." --Oral History in New Zealand


About the Author

Donald A. Ritchie is Associate Historian in the United States Senate Historical Office, where he conducts an oral history program. A former president of the Oral History Association, he has served on the council of the American Historical Association, and chaired the Organization of American Historians' committee on research and access to historical documentation. He has conducted many oral history workshops, and for ten years, he edited the Twayne oral history series.

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Customer Reviews

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This book is a great guide to oral history.
John Reosti
I take this book with me into the field whenever I am doing an Oral History project, and train people in by company by having them first read this book.
AZ
Having had the honor to meet Don in person, his writing style is just like him.
Murem

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By "reday000" on June 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
Ritchie covers the topic like a blanket. Everything from how to manage one's collection and stay out of legal trouble with the interviewee (and anyone you may discuss); down to remembering to punch out the little tabs on the back of each cassette in order to prevent accidental erasure.
This is a very complete and very practical guide to the processes and thinking of our country's oral historians from an author who's been in the middle of some pretty interesting stories.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By J. Fountain on October 20, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book delivers on what it promises. Beware, however, that while the author addresses interviews conducted by individual researchers, the book isn't much good for people looking to do that sort of work. Oral history is a more specific kind of work than what your ninth grade history teacher may have led you to believe (go figure!). I still think that a chapter addressing interview techniques would have been appropriate in the structure of the whole book. As it is, the text is written in q&a format, which annoyed me slightly, but it serves.

Verdict: useful for anyone looking to do oral history per se and wanting a guide to the various theoretical and practical issues involved.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Linda Baumann on August 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
We first heard about this book on the radio back in early 1990s...it is a marvelous tool to guide an interview of grandparent or parent, or even self, to record one's memories and family history. The book provided a concise outline to follow so that family history, stories, and memories can be passed down on DVD or CD. We have used it with our parents and given copies to siblings and grandchildren, and learned the benefit following the passing of a loved one - priceless! We even plan to do ourselves for our children. Probably the best and most unique legacy to leave!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Wayne Cooper on July 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A little dated because of changes in recording technology and editing. A lot of sections not applicable to the hobbyist who is interested in interviewing family and friends. Not much said about preservation and restoration of recording media. Overall, a book that has no competition in its particular field. I find it very valuable and am happy I purchased it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on February 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I got this book for the first time I was in a Gaming Law class. Professor Ritchie is an excellent teacher and I found this book helpful. I bought a second copy, this time on the kindle. If you are learning to interview people, this book is a real asset.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Murem on August 29, 2013
Format: Paperback
Don Ritchie, now the senior Historian for the United States Senate, wrote this user-friendly and highly informative guide for, indeed, doing oral history. It is written in a way that anyone from a novice to a pro can understand what to do and how to do it. Having had the honor to meet Don in person, his writing style is just like him. Don speaks clearly, professionally, and with a great sense of humor. He is a master storyteller, of course. I hope he writes an update to the book, since technologies for recording and sharing oral histories change regularly. For example, the Evoca voice recording service offers several ways to record, save and share interviews digitally, whether in person, on the phone, or when using Skype. I also hope he writes a book about his own experiences in the U.S. Senate over the decades he has been capturing the histories of Senators and staff members.
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