Saudi Oral History

“RIYADH: From one generation to another, history is told and retold. But with time, large fragments are lost, so a Riyadh-based research center is helping preserve some of Saudi Arabia’s most important historical facts.
The earliest forms of storytelling for many cultures were primarily oral, combined with gestures and expressions, and at times, even drawings and paintings. With time these stories differ, their essence forgotten and countless tales lost through time. In recognition of the beauty of this dying art, the King Abdul Aziz Foundation for Research and Archives (Darah) has upgraded its work to record and preserve oral accounts of Saudi Arabian history and make them accessible to researchers.” Read full story here.

Presidential Chef Dies

“Henry Haller’s entree to the White House came in late 1965, after the executive chef hired by the Kennedys had quit, finding it beneath his dignity at long last to prepare food like the spare ribs, spoon bread and mashed garbanzo beans requested by the subsequent White House occupants, Lyndon and Lady Bird Johnson.” Read fully story here which has a link to his oral history.

Children’s Museum

“Clarkson History Professor Laura Ettinger’s students collected oral histories from people 60 and over who grew up in the area. Their stories bring to life the work and play of childhood from an earlier time. Professor Laini Kavaloski from SUNY Canton and Professor Steven Pedersen from Clarkson’s Digital Arts & Sciences Program and their students created the audio and touch screen interactive. Director Mimi VanDeusen from the Potsdam Public Museum loaned historical artifacts for the displays. (VanDeusen retired November 30, 2020.)” Read more here about this interesting project.

Irish COVID-19 Project

Dublin City University has today launched the Irish COVID-19 Oral History Project. It focuses on orally archiving the Irish lived experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, for historical purposes. Led by Caitriona Ni Cassaithe and Professor Theo Lynn, the project will curate a collection of oral histories, detailing the Irish experience of the COVID-19 pandemic and how Irish communities are living through it, both at home and abroad. The findings are intended to be used by historians, researchers and policymakers in years to come to inform responses to future pandemics. It was inspired by work being undertaken by Prof Jason Kelly (IUPUI) on the US-based COVID-19 Oral History Project, a partner project of A Journal of the Plague Year, and efforts are being coordinated with the IUPUI project. For full story click here.

Teachers and Oral History

“History happens every day in every place. Whether it be a bill passing in the halls of Congress or a television program playing in your living room, it all counts as the great and messy drama of the human experience, worthy of historical consideration. Yet given the current global crisis in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are acutely aware of “history happening” in this particular moment, especially as New York City occupies the epicenter of the virus in the United States. Historians of the future will no doubt spend countless hours and pages analyzing the pandemic’s impact on politics, economics, and daily life—and we’re living right through this watershed moment.” Read more of this story and follow links here, some of which may be applied to Australian classrooms.

Oral History and Oral Tradition

Book Review

Rethinking Oral History and Oral Tradition: An Indigenous Perspective by Nepia Mahuika. New York: Oxford University Press, 2019 (Oxford Oral History Series). 288 pp. 978-0-1906-81685, Hardcover, $74.00
“Nepia Mahuika has authored a book deeply needed by the field of oral history. It is a book that has the potential to destabilize productively and transform how we as oral historians think about our work.” For full review click here.
Read selected pages here.

Oral History in Primary Schools

“Gosia Brown, one of the Head Teachers at St. Francis Melton Catholic Primary School in Leicestershire, England, discusses the ways that oral history has become a part of its curriculum, a subset of a larger project about the school’s heritage and history within the community.” For full story, including a link to a free resource page, click here.