A realistic though relaxed effort to record story, place, and memory remains crucial to each narrator’s sense of past, present, and future storytelling. To perform memory during audio recording starts with keystone interview questions to help encourage memory recall: the speakers speak, the listeners listen and inquire further, and stories unfold in the time it takes for conversation over coffee.
Oral History is not antiquated; more so, a potentially social psychology dyad interview approach with further potential to engage with narrators in shared discovery, attention, and content management. Now available through technological use of born-digital recording devices, OH begins with basic means of contact between narrators and interviewers, for instance via the postal service, email correspondence, telephone conversation, and, eventually, the display of interview content.
Archives, Narrative, and Memory built by the people
I believe that a new home within digital archives –– including community access over the internet –– continues to develop and improve our ability to record stories, narratives, and memory.
For instance, digital recordings –– later reproduced via sound to listener, researcher, and audience –– create viable potentials for learning across the connected globe, and perhaps with spoken insight particular to each new shared community narrative. Note the use of oral history and Youtube to promote political awareness and reform from KRIA Icelandic Constitution Archives.
For an example of oral history’s new direction, link up and become familiar in the long-term with Oral History In the Digital Age The measures that we make to help storytellers create personal and professional narratives bridge conversation through great numbers of online display. See examples in the Online Oral History Collection wiki list.
Without narrators, access does not exist.
Content provided during narrator stories demand interpretation by wider audiences than academic interviewers, sound technicians, and transcribers. Today’s sound and memory recordings are constructed thanks to technology. This does not mean that OH discipline does not overlap with other communication and media content fields, and certainly that its complexities can, and will, appear numerous to novice interviewers and sound recordists.
Personal representation, for a short time, becomes recorded presentation of memory. In my view, collection and interpretation of narrator produced content may or may not become an unlimited resource. When localized community members and individual life-history collaborators tell stories, together we become recorded witnesses to collective retellings of public collective memory.