Tips on Archiving Family History, Part 1

Readers sent dozens of questions about archiving and preserving family history and stories to Bertram Lyons, an archivist at the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress in Washington. He manages digital archives relating to folklife, including StoryCorps, which records and collects oral histories. In addition to academic workshops, he participates in public outreach, answering questions from people interested in preserving audio and visual material in analog and digital media, as well as related documents.

US ARMY GUIDE TO ORAL HISTORY (6)

Army historians should use either standard cassette recorders or digital recorders when conducting interviews. Adherence to this policy will facilitate the transcription process and the exchange of interviews between Army historical offices. The use of proprietary software for digital recorders, as well as the use of microcassettes, is discouraged. The Center of Military History will transcribe only standard cassettes. Although most Army historians will want to use digital recorders, standard cassette recorders remain widely available, relatively inexpensive, and portable. If using a cassette recorder, be sure to:

US ARMY GUIDE TO ORAL HISTORY (5)

The End-of-Tour Interview Program described in AR 870-5 consists of interviews with the principals of the Secretariat and Army Staff, MACOM commanders, commanders of Army specified commands and Army components of unified commands, commandants and deputy commandants of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) schools and of the Army Medical Department Center and School, corps and division commanders, and commanders of theater and corps support commands. The program is designed to collect the experiences of individuals in important positions and to ensure that the information is preserved and available to the Army.

US ARMY GUIDE TO ORAL HISTORY (4)

After the interview the historian's task is that of product management: summarizing, transcribing, editing, publishing, and storing. The historian's job is not complete until the information contained in the interview is available and accessible to other historians.

US ARMY GUIDE TO ORAL HISTORY (3)

Before arriving for the interview, the historian should double-check to make sure that he or she has all the necessary equipment and that it is functioning. Familiarity with equipment will avoid any embarrassing moments at the start of the interview.

US ARMY GUIDE TO ORAL HISTORY (2)

Army historians conduct several types of interviews with names that reflect their focus and content: biographical (sometimes known as career interviews), subject, exit, end-of-tour and after-action. A biographical interview focuses on an individual's life or career.

US ARMY GUIDE TO ORAL HISTORY (1)

The U.S. Army Center of Military History (CMH) first developed a concept for an oral history handbook in the mid-1980s. Its objective was to provide Department of the Army (DA) oral history guidance for the growing number of historians tasked with conducting interviews. Since that time, Army historians, military and civilian, have conducted thousands of oral history interviews. Because of the increased importance of oral history in documenting the history of the U.S. Army-as exemplified by the efforts to capture the Army’s response to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 and the ongoing operations in the Global War on Terrorism-the Center of Military History deemed the time was right to revise its guide to practicing oral history in order to disseminate lessons learned from this wealth of experience.

A Dialogical Relationship. An Approach to Oral History

The phrase oral history is a common abbreviation for what we might describe, more articulately, as the use of oral sources in history or the social sciences.(1) In its most elementary form, the oral narratives and testimony which constitute oral history are but an additional tool in the historian’s panoply of sources, and are therefore subject to the same critical scrutiny as all other sources, in order to ascertain their reliability and their usefulness.

What Is Oral History?

Making Sense of Oral History offers a place for students and teachers to begin working with oral history as historical evidence. Written by Linda Shopes, this guide presents an overview of oral history and ways historians use it, tips on questions to ask when reading or listening to oral history interviews, a sample interpretation of an interview, an annotated bibliography, and a guide to finding and using oral history online. Linda Shopes is a historian at the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. She has worked on, consulted for, and written about oral history projects for more than twenty-five years. She is coeditor of The Baltimore Book: New Views of Local History and is past president of the Oral History Association.

Oral History and Archives

Before starting we want to state a few caveats about what we will be talking about when we talk about oral history and archiving. First a warning: we will be talking within the perspective of archival practices as they have emerged in the United States. Therefore some of what we say has to be recognized as culturally and historically limited, and of course reflective of a real difference in resources, although given current spending policies in the United States this difference may not last long.
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A guerrilla who was in much love with Islam and Imam Khomeini

The Role of Oral History in Making a Documentary on the Life of Martyr Mahmoud Kaveh, Commander of the Special Brigade of Martyrs.
Martyr Mahmoud Kaveh, the commander of the Special Brigade of Martyrs, is one of the commanders about whom many articles have been written so far; but in the world of the movie, not much attention has been paid to the narration of his life from birth to martyrdom. Mr. Ali Hamid paid attention to him in making one of the episodes of the documentary series "Commanders" and narrated his condition in the form of 25 minutes.
A Piece of "Lasting Memories"

History of Establishment of Islamic Republic Party

I have been thinking about creating an Islamic political party and society for many years ago. Especially after the 1953 and coup detat of August 19, 1953, and given the experience I gained from the National Movement of Iran in 1950-1953, I hardly believed that our forces should become an active Islamic political organization. Hearing news of Islamic political organizations from other societies was interesting for me.
Interview with Zahra Tabatabai, an active student during the Sacred Defense era

The Efforts of Female Students in the War Support Headquarters

From the first days of the Baathists invasion, mosques, husseiniyahs, and even houses became important centers for the service of the fighters. These days, women and girls volunteered in the War Support Headquarters to collect public donations, sew clothes for fighters, making jam, do cultural works, and so on. Zahra Sadat Tabatabai is one of the women who actively participated in the War Support Headquarters of Tehran 14th district with the beginning ...