Oral History: Media, Message, and Meaning

Clifford M. Kuhn

in The Oxford Handbook of Oral History

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780195339550
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

Oral History: Media, Message, and Meaning


An immense transformation in oral history and media has taken place over the past few decades. This article draws largely upon personal experiences in culminating media, message, and meaning along with the study of oral history. This article looks at experiences in interviewing people and how memories can be juxtaposed in combining oral history. To convey something of the orality and subjectivity of a radio series, this article also intersperses thirteen longer “profiles,” extended interview excerpts with people found especially informative and illuminating, and whose stories did not always fit neatly within the larger narrative. Living Atlanta: An Oral History of the City, 1914–1948, published in 1990 is referred to for conveying message and meaning. The advent of the digital revolution by the early 1990s helped spur a resurgence of interest. The plethora of oral history–based media initiatives is astounding which is still mushrooming.

Keywords: oral history; media; meaning; radio series; digital revolution

Article.  5515 words. 

Subjects: History ; Oral History

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