Read about the planned interview as an approach to gathering historical information. Contributors to this section point to effective and sensitive strategies for undertaking oral histories. Oral histories give people the opportunity to talk about their lives and, in doing so, contribute to the story of Australia’s history and inheritance.
Paul Ashton in excerpts from ‘On the Record: a practical guide to oral history’ discusses the value of oral sources in building histories around ‘ordinary’ lives and occurrences.
Stuart Reid introduces students to questioning techniques in an excerpt from the Oral History Association of WA video ‘Capturing the Past’.
In excerpts from ‘The Knife Edge: Debates about Memory and History’ Paula Hamilton discusses aspects of memory that influence recounting and recording the past.
Penny Taylor writes about sensitivity in interviewing indigenous people, the importance of local histories and distinctions between oral and written cultures in excerpts from ‘Telling it like it is’.
Excerpts from Helen Armstrong’s journal article ‘Mapping Migrant Memories: crossing cultural borders’ focusing on oral history approaches to identifying places valued by migrant groups.
Elders of the Yiu Ming Society speak to Ann Stephen about their experiences as Chinese in Australia.
Can you trace your family back to your great-grandparents?
Where did your ancestors live?
What was life like for them?
Tracing family history began to gain popularity in Australia in the 1970s. There are many ways of investigating your family heritage.
Family Tree research - How do I Trace My Family Tree?
The NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages has good information about tracing your family tree and an excellent list of links to Australian and intenational internet resources.
Provided as Microsoft Word Documents
Willoughby City Library’s brochure details sources for investigating family history.