Community Oral History Toolkit: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Community Oral History Toolkit

1st Edition

By Nancy MacKay, Mary Kay Quinlan, Barbara W Sommer


Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781598744088
pub: 2013-03-15

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This five-volume set is the definitive guide to all aspects of conducting successful community oral history projects that conform to best practices in the field. What are the fundamental principles that make one oral history project fly and another falter? Community Oral History Toolkit examines theoretical foundations for oral history practice and offers applicable tools and guidelines that you can mold to your project’s specific needs. The wealth of existing literature on oral history methodology is designed for academic research; the Toolkit, however, is specifically geared toward community groups unaffiliated with large institutions such as universities. Volumes include an introduction to community oral history, planning and managing community oral history projects, interviewing subjects, and processing the interviews. Volumes in the set are also available separately.

Check for downloadable forms under the e-resources tab.


"The Toolkit will be an invaluable resource for a wide variety of oral history projects--in schools, libraries, religious institutions, neighborhoods, and workplaces. Families who are using interviews to reconstruct their histories can also use this comprehensive, step-by-step guide. The authors provide the big picture with great background information but also pay attention to details about planning, interview techniques, and archiving. The Toolkit is easy to read and to use. It confirms the significant role that oral history plays as historical evidence."--Brent D. Glass, Ph.D., Director Emeritus, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

"The Community Oral History Toolkit is a comprehensive introduction to the field. In any research focus, one could fill bookshelves with volumes on the subject. However, for those working, volunteering, or studying in the cultural heritage field the Toolkit provides a solid foundation on which to conduct oral history projects. I particularly like the Toolkit's staged or sequential approach. As someone who has written my share of institutional review board proposals for interviews and gone on to conduct that research, I intend to use the Toolkit as the foundation for future projects."--Robert P. Connolly, Director, C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa

"At last! A straightforward, easy-to-read guide for community organizations. The in-depth treatment covers critical topics and issues often overlooked by community organizations anxious to begin interviewing. I love the emphasis and help with planning a project."--Tom Ikeda, Founding Executive Director, Densho

"The Community Oral History Toolkit is a comprehensive resource offering guidance for designing successful, community-driven oral history projects. MacKay, Quinlan, and Sommer draw on a wide range of expertise to provide the reader useful information on the oral history process. If you are new to oral history, this will be a great place to start."--Douglas A. Boyd, Director, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries

"Imagine a toolbox that offers you well-designed equipment, easy-to-follow instructions for how to use those tools, and useful explanations of the "why" behind the "how." Here three friendly oral history experts provide practical steps community groups can take to move beyond the initial oral history impulse and on down the road to success. Best practices are illustrated with specific project examples that showcase why such practices are "best." Realistic timetables, FAQs, sample documents, equipment specs and more in the toolkit will help communities ignited by the spark of preserving human stories develop a smooth-running mechanism for their journeys of self-discovery."--Lynne Ireland, Deputy Director, Nebraska State Historical Society

"This dream team of community oral historians has done an excellent job compiling this valuable guide and resource. The material is accessible and usable for all shades of the disparate community groups that work with oral history. The toolkit provides handy practical tips for planning, fieldwork, and sharing oral history while it encourages practitioners to attend to higher theoretical questions of approach, authority, and audience. Community oral history projects that incorporate the advice found within these volumes will markedly enhance the quality and meaning of their efforts."--Stephen Sloan, Director, Institute for Oral History, Baylor University

"With the Community Oral History Toolkit, Quinlan, Sommer, and MacKay have rendered a significant service to organizations making their first foray into oral history. More seasoned organizations may still find much of value in these five handbooks, as they offer inspiration for improving or streamlining one’s approach to planning and managing new and existing projects." --Lee S. Berry, Oral History Review

Table of Contents

Volume 1. Introduction to Community Oral History Series Preface Volume Preface IntroductionChapter 1: Understanding the Study of History Chapter 2: Defining Oral History; Defining Communty Chapter 3: Special Considerations for Community Oral History Chapter 4: Oral History Tools and Technology Chapter 5: Preserving and Using Oral History Materials Chapter 6: Ethical Considerations for Oral Historians Chapter 7: Exploring Best Practices for Community Oral History Projects Chapter 8: Overview of the Community Oral History Toolkit Appendices: Glossary, Sample Forms, Bibliography IndexVolume 2. Planning a Community Oral History Project Series Preface Volume Preface Introduction Chapter 1: Why Plan? Chapter 2: Project Planning Overview Chapter 3: Getting Started Chapter 4: Legal and Ethical Considerations Chapter 5: Project Administration Chapter 6: All About Money Chapter 7: Recording Technology Chapter 8: Rounding Out the List Selected Resources Appendix IndexVolume 3. Managing a Community Oral History ProjectSeries PrefaceVolume PrefaceIntroductionChapter 1: Project ManagementChapter 2: People ManagmentChapter 3: Equipment ManagementChapter 4: Money ManagementChapter 5: Interview ManagementChapter 6: Post-Interview ManagementSelected ResourcesAppendixIndexVolume 4. Interviewing in Community Oral History Series Preface Volume Preface IntroductionChapter 1: What, Exactly, is an Oral History Interview? Chapter 2: Understanding the Ethics of Oral History Interviews Chapter 3: Before the Interview: What Planners Need to Do Chapter 4: Before the Interview: What Interviewers Need to Do Chapter 5: During the Interview Chapter 6: After the Interview Selected Resources Appendix IndexVolume 5. After the Community Oral History Interview Series Preface Volume Preface Introduction Chapter 1: Getting Started Chapter 2: Processing Chapter 3: Transcribing Chapter 4: Cataloging Chapter 5: Preservation and Access Chapter 6: Winding Up Chapter 7: Using Oral Histories Chapter 8: Final Words Selected Resources Appendix Index

About the Series

Community Oral History Toolkit

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General