Recommendations for Oral History Resources

Linda Shopes Discussion


I'm curious to know what books, articles, websites, etc. are you currently recommending to local, community-based people who are interested doing oral history and need a basic orientation to the practice - manuals and handbooks, and also exemplary publications and websites, more interpretive work, other useful materials.  I'm working on a list of these types of resorces. Thank you.  --Linda Shopes



11 Replies

Post Reply

I have referred people to the resources at the Institute for Oral History at Baylor University, including their style guide and an article by Thomas Charlton on "How to Interview." Baylor also has a good style guide for editing.

I usually also tell them to review articles in the Oral History Review to see the many different techniques people are using. Another good training resource is with the Smithsonian Institution:

I have done some of my own research and summarizing on techniques/strategies for interviewing people with disabilities and am happy to share it.

I urge you to listen to yesterday's radio conversation, Sharing Black Family Histories, with Kelly Elaine Navies, oral historian at the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture, Brian Lehrer, and the people who called in:
WNYC-FM's Brian Lehrer Show (2/23/2023 ),

Kelly Elaine Navies gives really helpful strategies for eliciting family histories and doing oral histories in general. The entire program is deeply moving!

There is a transcript available, but the voices are so much better.

Karen Reeds
Princeton Research Forum, a community of independent scholars. A Partner Group of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars

My thanks to all who responded to my query. You have brought to my attention some materials that I did not know about, and I appreciate that. I hope others have found the information useful also. --Linda Shopes

Hello Linda-

So glad you received so man resources and ideas. It would be great if you could share a document, if you have one, with the listserv.

Thank you!

I appreciate the interest. However, the document in question is under development: it's incomplete, not comprehensive, and targeted to a specific audience, so probably best not to forward at this time. Once it's complete and okayed by those with whom I am working, I can forward. Of course, recommendations shared via H-Oralhist are available to all via this string of messages. --Linda Shopes

Hi Linda,

You may find the Genocide Research and Vicarious Trauma: A Self Care Discussion webinar useful. This webinar will be taking place on May 4, 2023 at 12:30 pm EST. It will explore the causes and impact of vicarious trauma and offer suggestions for self care and healthy research practices. To register for this discussion, register with this link:

Those who register will also receive a link to the recorded session for future reference. It will also be available on YouTube.
Visit our website to learn more about this webinar and the guests see