Oral History and the Law
The principles of oral history carefully developed by professionals over the last half century and expressed in the Oral History Association's Principles and Best Practices pave the way for a generation filled with new ideas, technical skills, and fresh topics to document, as well as fresh approaches to ongoing areas of study. The wonders of the 21st century underpin almost every aspect of the way we do our work today. The interview has been, is, and always will be what historian Stephen Sloan calls the immutable core of oral history. The digital age and the democratization of oral history offer opportunities and challenges for oral historians and curators, without a known outcome. Oral historian and legal expert John Neuenschwander, in an article in the Oral History Association Newsletter, cautioned us not to let concerns about access restrict us unduly. The digital age offers new opportunities and forces to question time-tested practices and standards.