7. Memory Collection


Memory collection, including oral history, is particularly important for community heritage groups to consider. An oral history project is the perfect way for a community group to take hold of a process from start to finish, and end up owning an archive they have created themselves. A local history group often has the benefit of a large amount of local knowledge. This will bring in big advantages when running a memory collection project, as such groups will usually have a good idea of researching something of particular local interest or something that has not been covered before. They will know what questions to ask and who best to approach.

Once an oral history archive has been put together, it is an archive in the same sense as a collection of paper (newspaper, photographs, diaries) or material (objects, memorabilia) records. It is certainly as important and will need the same consideration when considering preservation and should be promoted to the same level.

Learning benchmarks

By the end of this section you will:

  • Understand what oral history is and its importance to community heritage.
  • Know how to plan and manage a memory collection project.
  • Be able to identify and tackle issues of permission and copyright in terms of oral history.


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