Oral History in Museums

“In this article, Priyanka Seshardri makes the case for oral history’s place in museum collections. Today, we see museums around the world investigating the roots of their collections. Consequently, museums are being urged to follow more ethical collecting practices. Oral history as a discipline can serve as a useful guide towards this goal. It creates a rich world of storytelling around any type of collection, including works of art, archival documents, photographs and material objects. Its methods can also shape a museum’s relationships and reimagine its role as a custodian of collections.” Read more here.

National Gallery Open Online

“While their doors remain closed, the NGA is opening up their online resources for art lovers, knowledge seekers and Australia’s future creatives so they can explore the joys of the gallery without leaving the comfort of home.

Start with Tim Ross’ Constant to dive into the formative power of art and its undeniable constant presence in life. To hear a new perspective, listen to James Gleeson interview 98 Australia artists in their studios in the oral history collection, a significant resource and an insight into how art has influenced Australia over the years.” Read full article here. Note that the oral history collection link in the article is incorrect. The correct link is above.

Using objects in interviews

“It’s a recent trend in books and magazines to sum up subjects or periods of history by discussing a series of carefully—or randomly—chosen objects. One example is the British Museum’s “A History of the World in 100 Objects.” It’s really a new take on the old idea of a “conversation piece.” You can use this technique to inspire several generations to trade histories.” Read full story here.

Cambodian Oral Histories

“It is often mistakenly said that “history is written by the victors.” This is not true, and Cambodia’s history vindicates this point. The survivors of the Khmer Rouge were not the victors, but they are heroes, and as heroes, we must capture their oral history. Most history originates as oral history, and we must recognize the important role that oral history plays in the great tasks that lie before us.” Read full story here.