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Thematic Essays:

Carlos Andrade

Methods for Oral History
Brian Calliou
& Charles Langlas






Methods for Oral History

"Methodology For An Oral History Project"
Brian Calliou

"Doing Oral History with Native Hawaiians"
Charles Langlas

Sample Release Forms for Oral History Projects
Pacific Worlds (document)

Pacific Worlds is pleased to provide essays and information for students and others wishing to undertake oral history projects. Oral methodologies lie at the heart of Pacific Worlds, as almost all of our information is collected first-hand from elders, community members, and other culture-keepers.

Oral history provides first-hand experiences and perspectives on issues and events in the past, and doing oral history allows us to learn directly from people who lived through those episodes. It gives very different perspectives from what is written in history textbooks, making those events alive and personal.

To guide you in doing your own oral history project, we present two essays written by scholars who work with indigenous peoples. The first is by Brian Calliou, and is aimed particularly at those working with Aboriginal (American Indian) peoples in Canada. But the principles he discusses are applicable generally. This is an excellent and thorough essay, and we highly recommend it.

As a companion to Calliou's piece, Charles Langlas presents a shorter essay for those working specifically with Native Hawaiians. This is an excellent guide for research in the Hawaiian Islands, and while the focus is on Native Hawaiians, one can apply the principles to working with any ethnic group.

In addition, we are providing sample release forms, like the ones we use for Pacific Worlds. Release forms, as you will see from these essays, are an important component of doing oral history research, especially with indigenous peoples. We emphasize that protocol is important: your interviewees must be assured of your honesty and integrity, and using release forms correctly is important towards that end.

Please use the links above to access these materials, and good luck with your work!



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