What We’re Reading: December 10, 2009 Edition

Fireside Tales on the TellyIn the news this week, the OAH has hired a new executive director, the NHPRC is recommending $2.9 million for grants, Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero gives his “State of the Archives” address, and recent panel looks at changes in the Lower East Side. Then, we bring you three links to pages on oral history and storytelling: Cambridge University has a new online oral history collection, the Clerk’s Office of History and Preservation has created an oral history site for the U.S. House of Representatives, and Andrew Marr at the Economist’s culture magazine Intelligent Life looks at TV as a storyteller. Other articles we link to include advice on pursuing a career in academia, a look at the much forgotten Hall of Fame for Great Americans, history on Twitter, and finally, scanned articles from the days after the Pearl Harbor attack.

News

Storytelling and Oral History

  • South Asian oral history archive goes online
    Cambridge University recently created an online forum for their oral history collection. These oral histories were recorded in the 1960s and 70s in an attempt to “to preserve the memories of the British in India, members of the Indian independence movement, and people who had known Gandhi.”
  • Oral History of the U.S. House of Representatives
    The Clerk’s Office of History and Preservation has recently announced the launch of the official US House of Representatives’ Oral History Web site. The site offers interviews with a range of House staff and officers, as well as children of Members of Congress. There are also interview transcripts in html and PDF formats, video and audio clips, brief interviewee biographies, artifacts, images, and educational resources for teachers. The content will be growing in the coming months more interviews are processed and added to the site.
  • Fireside Tales on the Telly
    In this article from the Economist’s culture magazine Intelligent Life, Andrew Marr starts off with the question, “How well can television do history?” He goes on to explore this question, linking the television experience with that of “pre-literate fireside story­telling.”

What Else We’re Reading

Contributors: Elisabeth Grant, Jessica Pritchard, and Robert B. Townsend

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