From the Glasgow Women’s Library

So what are oral histories and why is it important to record them?

Oral histories have been described as ‘the first kind of history’. They’re the passing on of knowledge, memory and experience by word of mouth. They can take the form of anything from folklore, myths and stories passed from person to person, to a formal interview about a particular event with someone that is recorded and kept in an archive as an historical resource.

They’re a way of gathering, recording, and preserving a diverse range of personal experiences that generally are not well documented in written sources or traditional history in Western society. Their personal nature makes them a great primary source for people wanting to discover more about a certain event or era, providing an insight into the impact events had on the people alive and involved.

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