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Cover
Curating Oral Histories
From Interview to Archive
Nancy MacKay (Author)
156 pp. / 8.50 x 11.00 / Oct, 2006
Hardback (978-1-59874-057-8)
Paperback (978-1-59874-058-5)
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Related Interest
  - Communications & Media Studies
  - Cultural Studies & the Arts
  - History
  - Museum Studies & Practice
  - Qualitative Research & Methods

The interview is completed, the recorder packed away, and you’ve
"This book is an excellent addition to one’s professional reference collection.... MacKay’s book provides an excellent overview of managing oral histories after the interview to ensure that they will be accessible to future researchers.... This indispensable book is perfect for repositories that hold oral history collections or are considering an oral history project."

- Sheila R. Spalding, New England Archivists Newsletter

" MacKay’s clear and thorough approach provides certain value to those involved in all aspects of the field of oral history, not least because it encourages those who do oral history to think about the bigger picture so that our recording projects can be preserved as accessible and relevant archival collections. MacKay’s work also provides a highly extensive glossary of terms and appendix of resources which are relevant to all aspects of oral history work. Whether your work in oral history is based in grassroots community projects or highly academic research, MacKay’s accessible yet critical approach will certainly prove valuable to your practice."

- Christopher Webb, Oral History Forum d'histoire orale

" While most methodological manuals feature the interview process, MacKay has created an easy-to-understand guide to oral history materials management with a focus on archiving, legal/ethical issues, technology, transcribing, cataloging, preservation, Internet usage, along with challenges faced in the twenty-first century and beyond. In addition, she also includes helpful forms and resources in the book’s appendix. Overall, Curating Oral Histories is a key resource not only for librarians but for anyone tasked with organizing, preserving, or making oral histories accessible. This book is a short, yet valuable, read. MacKay packs it chock full of helpful tips, insights, and practical how-to guidance. It fills a key gap in oral history methodology literature and opens the door for discussion on what happens to materials once the interview is complete…In some cases, for some people, curating oral history materials is occasionally an afterthought. Once the interviews are collected, steps need to be taken in order to ensure preservation and use of the materials for generations to come. MacKay gives all oral historians, archivists, librarians, and those working in collection management at various levels a useful book to accomplish those final steps. In the end, it comes down to one of the predominant themes in her work: planning is the key to success in caring for and curating oral histories. "

- Juliana M. Nykolaiszyn, Oklahoma State University

" Anyone who has ever stumbled across a box of cassette tapes with little or no labeling in their collection and has a vague memory of someone mentioning oral history interviews, or finds themselves looking at the seemingly disparate elements of a well-documented oral history project will appreciate Nancy MacKay's Curating Oral Histories. . . The book is organized into clear and helpful sections that walk the reader through the various complexities of managing oral history collections and provide basic considerations to help prepare a curator to deal with the issues. . . MacKay's clear and simple style and her breakdown of the issues make a complex subject easy to understand and illuminate some of the more tangled issues. MacKay's book is a solid first step in developing the literature of oral history curation and will easily become a staple in any archival reference collection. "

- Journal for the Society of North Carolina Archivists

" From how to set up an oral history program to the challenges of curating oral histories on the internet and during the 21st century, Nancy MacKay\'s Curating Oral Histories is a practical primer on what one needs to know to be successful. Her practical tips, and suggestions, profiles of oral history programs, forms for just about everything, a glossary, and resources such as organizations and professional associations, are very nicely put together and arm the reader with all they need to contemplate when considering whether they have the resources necessary to manage a collection or embark on a major oral history project. . . a quick read, but also one that makes a great case for why we want to make and keep oral histories. "

- Northwest Oral History Association (NOHA) Newsletter

" Curating Oral Histories is sure to become invaluable as an integrated compendium of guidance and example….Informed by her own experience and by a 2004 survey of curatorial practice in libraries and archives, and motivated by a keen desire to keep oral history products off the archivist’s or cataloger’s “problem shelf,” MacKay has assembled a sensible and thoroughgoing guide to practical management of oral history production. "

- Sound Historian, Journal of the Texas Oral History Association

"The book doesn't go over the same material that other how-to-do-oral-history texts always cover. Instead, it addresses the management, preservation, and access issues that these texts generally ignore. It's as if once the oral history recording has been done, an oral history collection exists and is ready to use. As MacKay's book clearly demonstrates, this is not the case. Although much of this material is available through various oral history websites and in-house guides and manuals, this text brings it all together into an attractive, easy-to-use format. I like the presentation, especially the boxed items, definitions, and numerous forms in the appendices. I've searched and searched for this type of information to use in my oral history class, so I know how dispersed and undigested it is. MacKay not only brings it together, she synthesizes it and develops general principles and guidelines."

- Debra Hansen, San Jose State University School of LIbrary and Information Science

"A quick and easy 'how to' manual, with references and explanations that help everyone, including those of us without librarian backgrounds."

- Joan M. Craig, Community Relations Coordinator, Morse Institute Library

"I found this to be one of the most helpful and reader-friendly books I have seen in a long time. MacKay very correctly makes the point that, while the focus often is placed on creating oral histories, there has not been enough discussion about caring for the materials once they have been created. This book takes the complex archival and curatorial issues involved in caring for the materials and puts them into easy-to-understand language. In doing so, it helps not only archivists and curators, but oral historians working in all steps of the oral history process."

- Barbara W. Sommer, author of The Oral History Manual

captured the narrator’s voice for posterity. The bulk of your oral history is finished—or is it? Nancy MacKay, archivist and oral historian, addresses the crucial issue often overlooked by researchers: How do you ensure that the interview you so carefully recorded will be preserved and available in the future?

MacKay goes carefully through the various steps that take place after the interview—transcribing, cataloging, preserving, archiving, and making your study accessible to others. Written in a practical, instructive style, MacKay guides readers, step by step, to make the oral history “archive ready”, offers planning strategies, and provides links to the most current information in this rapidly evolving field. This book will be of interest to oral historians, librarians, archivists and others who conduct oral history and maintain oral history materials.
See more at http://www.nancymackay.net/curating/





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