The Journal of San Diego History
Summer 1984, Volume 30, Number 3
Thomas L. Scharf, Editor

Book Notes

Raymond Starr, Book Review Editor

Oral History: A Guide for Teachers (and Others). By Thad Sitton, George L. Mehaffy, and O.L. Davis, Jr. Austin: University of Texas Press. 1983. Appendices. Bibliography. 167 Pages. $18.95 Hardcover. $8.95 Paper.

So many books have appeared on oral history that this one may get lost in the pack. That would be unfortunate, because Oral History has merit. Its discussion of technical matters – what kind of equipment to use, how to plan, interview techniques, how to store, transcribe and edit, etc. – is very practical and sensible. Furthermore, the appendices include good examples of release forms, data sheets, bibliographies and teaching suggestions. Other portions of the book, which deal with a general introduction to oral history, to the types of interviews (general life history, history of a building or a neighborhood, etc.) are sometimes good, although often so brief as to leave a fractured picture. Clearly useful for teachers using oral history in their classes, Oral History has a lot of value for non-teachers as well.