As a local history librarian, I read with great interest that Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been amassing video interviews of music legends for an ongoing oral history project. It is encouraging to learn that they, too, recognize the value of this preservation format in collecting first-person history. With greater interest, I read further that they recently interviewed four greats together: Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Fats Domino. But they ran into some difficulty. Little Richard dominated the interview, and they had to tape the other three individually the next day. These museum curators were unaware of the dangers of the multiple-person interview. Less can equal more. Oral histories are most effective when the interviews are one-on-one. How do I know this, and why is it of interest to me? Over the past ten years at Way Public Library (WPL) in Perrysburg (OH), I have conducted dozens of oral history interviews.
Posts Tagged ‘historical research’
Often, when we think of the Middle Ages, we think about England, France, or Italy. The vast variety of art to come out of those regions and historical events like the Black Death are part of the reason, not to mention the tendency of U.S. schools to teach primarily Western European history. So it’s interesting to see a resource that tries to address this time period with a global perspective.
One of the beauties of Google Books is the ability to search the entire text of millions of items, bypassing the necessity of hunting down known items or even familiarity with the published literature on the topic. All the patron needs is the name of an ancestor or a historical curiosity to begin the search. This article will focus on ways average readers, librarians, and genealogists can enrich their research in surprising ways by the variety of materials beyond mere monographs that are contained in Google Books.