The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

Oral History for the Local Historical Society. By Willa K. Baum. (Stock-
ton, California: The Conference of California Historical Societies,
I969. Pp. 44. Bibliography. N.p.)
Despite the wide publicity given national oral history projects under-
taken by presidential libraries and other major depositories, one can still
reasonably argue that a chief utility of the oral technique is in preserving
local history. Mrs. Baum's pamphlet provides probably the best brief step-
by-step manual yet available to local historical societies which want to con-
sider oral history programs.
Drawing on her considerable experience with local history in California,
Mrs. Baum answers most of the questions likely to concern the beginning
oral historian and renders practical advice uncomplicated by "professional"
jargon. Users will want to update her suggestions on equipment-a cas-
sette transcriber equipped with a foot-operated reverse is now available-
but her general advice is excellent. Even experienced practitioners may ben-
efit from her section, "Tips for Interviewers." Oral history projects may be
more expensive than Mrs. Baum implies, but local societies which follow
her guidelines will produce a result worth both cost and effort.

University of Arkansas



Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed September 4, 2015.