LIBR 538B (3)

SPECIALIZED LITERATURES: THEORY AND PRACTICE OF ORAL HISTORY

Offered on an irregular basis

PREREQUISITES:

MLIS and Dual MAS/MLIS: Completion of MLIS Core or permission of SLAIS Graduate Advisor

MAS: completion of MAS core and permission of the SLAIS Graduate Adviser

GOAL: The goal of this course is to provide students with:

  • a foundation in the theoretical issues surrounding the use of oral history as historical evidence and a research methodology,
  • understanding of project management and planning issues and strategies,
  • experience conducting and transcribing oral history interviews,
  • comprehension of preservation and access issues for oral history collections, and
  • the ability to articulate the value of oral history collections to archives and libraries.

OBJECTIVES:

Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

  • Analyze the theoretical issues related to oral history and its use as historical evidence in a variety of contexts, including in archival and library settings.
  • Assess the problems of validity and bias surrounding all forms of historical evidence, including oral history.
  • Understand project planning issues, processes and strategies in the context of oral history projects.
  • Conduct oral history interviews, including completing background research, recruiting narrator, formulating questions, and interviewing narrator.
  • Apply current best practice standards for audio and visual recording of oral history interviews.
  • Apply current best practice ethical standards and legal standards to planning and conducting oral history interviews.
  • Discuss the legal and ethical issues surrounding the sharing and dissemination of oral history materials in a variety of contexts, including as legal evidence.
  • Apply current best practice standards for transcribing and indexing recorded oral history interviews.
  • Describe issues surrounding preservation of materials created during oral history interviews, including audio recordings, photographs, video recordings, and other associated materials.
  • Explain issues surrounding access to oral history materials in a library or archival setting.
  • Identify issues surrounding outreach using oral history materials in a library or archival setting.
  • Consider the impact of cultural, social and economic difference on planning and implementing oral history projects, as well as processing and using oral history collections.

CONTENT:

This course will be divided into three sections: theory and methodology, planning and implementing oral history projects, and curating oral history.

  • Theory and Methodology
  • Theory
  • Methodology: oral history and related methods
  • Ethical and legal issues
  • Background research, identifying potential interviewees, and formulating questions
  • Recording equipment and standards
  • Conducting interviews
  • Transcription and Indexing
  • Preservation Issues
  • Access Issues
  • Outreach using oral history materials
  • Conclusions: writing history and culture using oral history materials