Culture and Heritage: Oral History

Australia: State of the Environment Technical Paper Series (Natural and Cultural Heritage), Series 1
Louella McCarthy, Paul Ashton, and Hamish Graham
Department of the Environment, 1997
ISBN 0 642 25293 9

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About the Technical Paper

This paper presents the results of a study commissioned to undertake qualitative research into the utilisation of oral history techniques in both contemporary heritage practice and in the assessment of heritage significance over the last decade. The study indicates the extent to which organisations and groups involved in oral history ranging from local amateur societies to national institutions use oral sources in heritage work. It also shows that many of those engaged in oral history projects are not fully aware of the importance of recording the relationships between people and places/sites in the natural, built or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environments. The paper makes a number of recommendations including: further development of the pilot questionnaire; investigation of the needs of oral historians; development of and training in methodology; and resources to support work needed to understand, protect and conserve cultural and heritage places and sites in our environment.