Nuestras Historias

News & Updates from Nuestras Raíces @RILA

Oral History Best Practices Workshops | 2022


RILA’s Executive Director and Nuestras Raíces Project Director will offer Oral History Best Practices Workshops during the Summer of 2022.

What is Oral History?

Many people don't see the difference between “oral history” and “interviews.” There’s are several written articles with titles like "The Oral History Of [pop culture thing here]." The truth is that oral historians and archivists consider oral history to be something pretty specific with a strong set of principles and best practices:

Oral History is a dedicated life cycle to capture with a recording device, preserve for the long-term, and ethically share human stories, often around a particular well-researched topic by the interviewer.

This definition has a lot of similarities to the great work journalists & audio (podcast) producers are doing, but the big difference is the emphasis on long-term preservation as well as having a collection of archived interviews around a particular topic.

Marta V. Martínez will be offering an introductory workshop to oral history theory, methods and practice on Sat. June 24, 2022 from 3-4:30pm at the Museum of Work & Culture in Woonsocket and also July 9, 2022 10am-12:30pm in Central Falls. Marta will help you think about how oral history best practices supports active listening, ethical practice, memory, use of of primary sources, and the archive as a future history. You will learn the difference between story collecting, capturing stories and oral history.

Workshop Location: La Galería del Pueblo | 209 Central St. Central Falls, RI 02863

Topics: What is Oral History? Overview of recording equipment. Interviewing techniques and questions to ask - we will have a practice session on interviewing.
Selecting a topic and finding narrators. Tips on transcribing and archiving.

Oral Historians MeetUp

A MeetUp will be held on Sat. August 20, 2022 from 12pm to 1:30pm at the Providence Public Library, 150 Empire St. Providence, RI (downtown). The MeetUp is for practicing oral historians and for those who have attended and completed one of the workshops listed above.

Learn the fundamentals of oral history and then join us for an informal meetup. These events are for people who are currently planning or working on oral history projects with and among communities of color or other communities that have not yet been well represented in the public history of Rhode Island. You will learn about the resources important to oral historians at the Providence Public Library Special Collections and Newspaper collection.

If you are working on an oral history project, don’t miss this! We will be introducing ourselves and our projects and discussing project goals and design, challenges, lessons learned, tools and techniques, and, more broadly, the role and relevance of oral history in our public history and civic discourse.

The workshop are MeetUp are FREE, but registration is strongly recommended. Sign up here

Co-Hosts: Rhode Island Latino Arts | Nuestras Raíces: Latino Oral History Project of Rhode Island, the Latino Policy Institute, the Providence Public Library, and the Oral History Association.

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