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Oral Histories

This guide provides an overview of oral histories as both research sources and as research methodologies, with a focus on related resources at the University of Arkansas.

About this guide

Oral histories are valuable primary source resources that can offer first-hand accounts of historical and contemporary events, and in particular of persons and events not otherwise represented in the historical record. Oral histories represent intentional interviews or dialogs between interviewer(s) and interviewee(s) about the interviewee's own experiences. As eye-witness accounts, oral histories can offer powerful testimony to support research; however, it is important that researchers utilizing oral histories as historical evidence carefully consider the interviewer and interviewee's potential biases, as well as the limits of human memory, and contextualize oral histories with other source materials. Oral history collections may be created by researchers, community groups, organizations, or others, and are often collected by Special Collections departments and other archival repositories. This guide offers an overview of oral histories available at the University of Arkansas' Special Collections and Pryor Center for Oral History and Culture, as well as resources for those interested in recording their own oral histories

 

Reel-to-reel audio tape deck

Reel-to-reel audio tape deck