NCRM Videos

What is oral history? by Penny Summerfield


The mission of oral history in Britain in the 1960s and 70s was to recover lost histories and give ordinary individuals a place in history. The recovery of pasts that leave no trace in conventional records, and that have been ignored by historians and public media, has an enduring importance. It can re-orientate historical enquiry. Since the 1970s there has been a shift from the expectation that oral history produces information, or data, to the understanding that oral history gives access to historical subjectivities.