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Oral History

Guide to the discipline and methodology of oral history.

Curator, Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection

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George I. Paganelis
University Library
2000 State University Drive
Sacramento, CA 95189
Room 3025 (3rd floor) &
1511 (Special Collections)
916-278-4361; 916-278-6877
Subjects: Hellenic Studies

Oral History Defined

"Oral history is primary-source material created in an interview setting with a witness to or a participant in an event or a way of life for the purpose of preserving the information and making it available to others. The term refers both to the process and the interview itself."

 --From The Oral History Manual, 2nd ed., by Barbara W. Sommer and Mary Kay Quinlan, p. 1.


Use this guide as a starting point for research on the discipline and methodology of oral history. Use the tabs to discover further information about searching for books, articles, and more.

Note: Throughout this guide, all links open in new windows.


Oral History Recording Equipment

Thanks to a generous grant from the Friends of the Library in fall 2013, the University Library now has two sets of professional-quality portable digital audio recording equipment available for use by students, faculty, staff, and other eligible borrowers.

Each set comes with a TASCAM DR-100mkII 2-Channel Portable Digital Recorder, AC adapter, 32 GB memory card, cables, microphone, table-top mic stand, transport bag, and instruction manual. This equipment can be used to record oral histories, field recordings, guest speakers, music, podcasts, or in any other application where high-quality recording equipment is needed.

The sets can be found in the on-line catalog under the title “Portable Digital Audio Recorder” and are available for one-week check-out in the User Services Department.

Once again, many thanks to the Friends of the Library for underwriting this purchase.

Image of a TASCAM DR-100mkll 2 Portable Digital Audio Recorder

TASCAM DR-100mkll 2 Portable Digital Audio Recorder

Last Updated: Mar 3, 2023 3:32 PM