Past Events

Oral History and Archaeology [Deeper Digs]

Oral history is a valuable tool for archaeological research. It is also its own field with well-established methods and theory; a source of narrative data that involves memory, storytelling, and the relationship between interviewee and interviewer; and a touchstone method for community-based and collaborative research. Like any approach, doing oral history requires proper training, research design, and attention to ethics. This can be difficult terrain to navigate for archaeologists working to stay current in our own field. This seminar provides tools and resources that will help archaeologists conduct ethical and informed oral history research as part of an archaeological project. We will discuss the mechanics of an oral history project, including planning, research design, interviewing, ethics, and equipment. We will also touch on aspects of post-processing, transcription, and analysis, the challenges and importance of storage and curation, and ways to make sense of oral and narrative data.