Oral History is sometimes seen as a relatively new method of historical research in the scope of academic historiography, beginning to rise in the mid-20th century. Important in the shift towards the use of oral sources are advancements in portable recording technology, combined with a new interest in on (i) the personal experience of historical events, and (ii) the common man’s story within history research.
With the Digital Age coming in full swing at the start of 21st century, Oral History has begun to experience a paradigm shift. The internet is becoming an important place for oral history archives, making sources more publicly available. Digital tools are more and more adopted within the field, bringing previously tedious or even impossible research steps only mouse-clicks away. Mobile phones are making the recording of oral history available for virtually anyone interested. These developments have given the oral historian great expectations and new possibilities, but also received strong criticism, and the doubts and possible pitfalls associated with the digitalisation of the Oral History landscape have a crucially impact on the appreciation of what is technologically feasible.
The main goal of this website was to give an overview of technology that can be used in the processing of Oral History resources and interview data in general: from an analogue tape and perhaps a handwritten summary to a digital recording including digital transcripts, speaker allocation/recognition (who is speaking when), emotion-markers, speech velocity and much more.
However, because the techniques used are not Oral History specific, but are actually useful for all disciplines that use the spoken, and more and more, the "videoed recordings for their research, we decided to create a new, slightly more general website: https://SpeechAndTech.eu
On this site, Oral History still plays an important role, but we show that the techniques used can be used not only for OH, but for narrative research in general.
For the time being, this Oral History site will remain, but for the actual content, please refer to the SpeechAndTech site.