Official Nebraska Government Website Nebraska State Historical Society

Capturing the Living Past: An Oral History Primer

11. Additional Resources

Many books and articles are available to help novice and experienced oral historians improve their skills.
If you want more details than this primer can offer, these books can help.

The Oral History Manual, by Barbara W. Sommer and Mary Kay Quinlan (Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2002). Detailed, step-by-step instructions to help beginners get started on an oral history project. While many publications focus solely on interviewing, this book also helps project directors or committees understand the importance of planning. It describes in detail the steps involved in planning and carrying out an oral history project.

Native American Veterans Oral History Manual, by Barbara W. Sommer and Mary Kay Quinlan (Lincoln, NE: Nebraska Foundation for the Preservation of Oral History, 2005).

Doing Oral History: A Practical Guide, 2nd edition, by Donald A. Ritchie (New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 2003). Widely regarded as a "must-read" for novice and experienced oral historians, this book uses a question-and-answer format to address a wide variety of concerns oral historians face. Many examples of oral historians and their work enliven this detailed resource.

Oral History Evaluation Guidelines,, (Carlisle, PA: Oral History Association, 2002). Part of the Oral History Association's pamphlet series, this publication sets forth ethical considerations oral historians should follow. It describes ethical standards for collecting, processing, archiving and using oral history materials.

Oral History and the Law, 3rd edition, by John A. Neuenschwander (Carlisle, PA: Oral History Association, 2002). This publication from the OHA pamphlet series is required reading for anyone embarking on an oral history project. The author draws on his experiences as an oral historian, history professor, lawyer and municipal judge to review in detail the legal issues relating to oral history. Copyright, defamation, libel and other key terms are explained thoroughly along with a discussion of significant court cases.

Oral History Projects in Your Classroom, by Linda P. Wood (Carlisle, PA: Oral History Association, 2001). One of offerings in the OHA pamphlet series, this loose-leaf publication by a former high school librarian contains interesting examples and reproducible forms teachers may find useful in classroom oral history projects.

Dialog with the Past: Engaging Students & Meeting Standards through Oral History, by Glenn Whitman (Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2004). This new book gives teachers who want to incorporate oral history in their classrooms a practical guide with a wealth of information. An experienced social studies teacher, Whitman shows teachers how oral history work fulfills various state and national performance standards in various curriculum areas.

Recording Oral History: A Practical Guide for Social Scientists, 2nd edition, by Valerie Raleigh Yow (Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press, 2005). Written primarily as a college text for interviewers in the social sciences, this book examines in detail some of the complexities of conducting oral history interviews. Yow describes challenging situations interviewers may encounter and suggests how to handle them; the new edition includes a chapter on memory. She also includes extensive footnotes and suggested readings for those interested in delving more deeply into interviewing.

You may also find these Web-based resources helpful:

Oral History Association
P.O. Box 1773
Carlisle, PA 17013

Baylor University Institute for Oral History
"Oral History Workshop on the Web"

History Matters
"Making Sense of Oral History"

The Oral History Listserv (no dues or fees required) is a good resource for current information. To subscribe to or search previous message on this listserv, see


[Back to top]

[Previous page] [Next page]



NSHS Home  |  Search  |  Index  |  Top

For questions or comments on the website itself, email
Nebraska State Historical Society - P.O. Box 82554, 1500 R Street, Lincoln, NE 68501
Nebraska State Government Homepage
 |  Website Policies  |  © 2009 All Rights Reserved