This study examines six oral history projects that were conducted over fifty years in Palm Beach County, Florida. The projects recorded the history of African American neighborhoods in Delray Beach and Boca Raton; individual lives in their place and times; the pioneer and Flagler eras in Palm Beach and West Palm Beach; and people, places, and events chosen by oral history students at Florida Atlantic University.
As with oral histories generally, those studied inherently contain numerous variables concerning their (1) historical context, (2) format, and (3) participants, which clearly affect the outcome of recorded interviews and their written representations. Among the variables considered, this study demonstrates that it is the purpose of a single oral history or project that most significantly affects the others, and which is closely tied to the academic disciplines or backgrounds of its planner and interviewer.
Although oral history is a tool with many uses, it is also a discipline within that of history. As such, oral historians are obliged to preserve raw history in a form that is protected, accessible, and useful for interpretation by potential researchers in a variety of fields. Regardless of their primary purpose, oral historians from all disciplines should remain aware of this underlying purpose: to provide for the future.
|Advisor:||Norman, Sandra L.|
|School:||Florida Atlantic University|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||MAI 49/01M, Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Cultural anthropology, Black history, American history, History|
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