The Oral History Reader, now in its third edition, is a comprehensive, international anthology combining major, ‘classic’ articles with cutting-edge pieces on the theory, method and use of oral history. Twenty-seven new chapters introduce the most significant developments in oral history in the last decade to bring this invaluable text up to date, with new pieces on emotions and the senses, on crisis oral history, current thinking around traumatic memory, the impact of digital mobile technologies, and how oral history is being used in public contexts, with more international examples to draw in work from North and South America, Britain and Europe, Australasia, Asia and Africa.

Arranged in five thematic sections, each with an introduction by the editors to contextualise the selection and review relevant literature, articles in this collection draw upon diverse oral history experiences to examine issues including:

  • Key debates in the development of oral history over the past seventy years
  • First hand reflections on interview practice, and issues posed by the interview relationship
  • The nature of memory and its significance in oral history
  • The practical and ethical issues surrounding the interpretation, presentation and public use of oral testimonies
  • how oral history projects contribute to the study of the past and involve the wider community.
  • The challenges and contributions of oral history projects committed to advocacy and empowerment

With a revised and updated bibliography and useful contacts list, as well as a dedicated online resources page, this third edition of The Oral History Reader is the perfect tool for those encountering oral history for the first time, as well as for seasoned practitioners.

part |134 pages

Critical developments

chapter |7 pages

The Voice of The Past

Oral history

chapter |8 pages

Oral History and Hard Times

A review essay

chapter |19 pages

‘Listening in the Cold'

The practice of oral history in an Argentine working-class community

chapter |12 pages

What Remains

Reflections on crisis oral history

chapter |18 pages

‘I Just Want to Click on it to Listen'

Oral history archives, orality and usability

part |162 pages


chapter |14 pages

Learning to Listen

Interview techniques and analyses

chapter |19 pages

Remembering in Groups

Negotiating between ‘individual' and ‘collective’ memories

chapter |11 pages

Interviewing the Women of Phokeng

Consciousness and gender, insider and outsider

chapter |11 pages

Issues in Cross-Cultural Interviewing

Japanese women in England

chapter |14 pages

Toward an Ethics of Silence?

Negotiating off-the-record events and identity in oral history

chapter |14 pages

Imaging Family Memories

My Mum, her photographs, our memories

chapter |16 pages

Interviewing in Business and Corporate Environments

Benefits and challenges

part |148 pages

Interpreting memories

chapter |9 pages

Remembering Survival

Inside a Nazi slave-labor camp

chapter |14 pages

Surviving Memory

Truth and inaccuracy in Holocaust testimony

chapter |9 pages

Remembering a Vietnam War Firefight

Changing perspectives over time

chapter |11 pages

Anzac Memories

Putting popular memory theory into practice in Australia

chapter |16 pages

Private Life in Stalin's Russia

Narratives, memory and oral history

chapter |26 pages

Memory Work in java

A cautionary tale

chapter |16 pages

Sex, ‘Silence' and Audiotape

Listening for female same-sex desire in Cuba

chapter |12 pages

‘That's not What I Said'

Interpretative conflict in oral narrative research

chapter |10 pages

Evidence, Empathy and Ethics

Lessons from oral histories of the Klan

chapter |11 pages

Remembering and Reworking Emotions

The reanalysis of emotion in an interview

part |124 pages

Making histories

chapter |12 pages

Voice, Ear and Text

Words, meaning and transcription

chapter |18 pages

The Affective Power of Sound

Oral history on radio

chapter |14 pages

Foundling Voices

Placing oral history at the heart of an oral history exhibition

chapter |14 pages

Co-Creating our Story

Making a documentary film

chapter |20 pages

The Historical Hearing Aid

Located oral history from the listener's perspective

chapter |13 pages

Mapping Memories of Displacement

Oral history, memoryscapes and mobile methodologies

part |120 pages

Advocacy and empowerment

chapter |14 pages

Imagining Communities

Memory, loss and resilience in post-apartheid Cape Town

chapter |16 pages

Sound, Memory and Dis/Placement

Exploring sound, song and performance as oral history in the southern African borderlands

chapter |15 pages

‘You Hear it in Their Voice'

Photographs and cultural consolidation among Inuit youths and elders

chapter |10 pages

‘We Know What the Problem is'

Using video and radio oral history to develop collaborative analysis of homelessness

chapter |20 pages

Trying to be Good

Lessons in oral history and performance

chapter |18 pages

Oral History and New Orthodoxies

Narrative accounts in the history of learning disability

chapter |15 pages

The Limits of Oral History

Ethics and methodology amid highly politicized research settings