The Strengths And Weaknesses Of Oral History Essay

1814 Words Dec 9th, 2014 null Page
1). Oral History is often a key source used by public historians. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this type of source?
The strengths of oral history would be that they are primary and first hand sources, which adds credibility. For example, a WWII veteran would be a much better source of information about the war, then someone who has simply read about it. Weaknesses include the fact that they are a one person perspective, thus one person’s account of an event involving many. Some potential interviewees also have bad memories, and thus unreliable. For example, a person in their 80’s or 90’s may have trouble properly remembering names and dates from when they were in their 20s, and thus may get a person or event confused. It is also very hard to tell, as well, if a person is being entirely truthful. Someone could be reluctant to share the actual events that occurred, or want to glorify themselves by giving themselves a bigger role in the event than they actually had. Therefore, oral histories can provide a great wealth of priceless information, but time and effort will need to be put into fact checking in order to ensure accuracy.
2) Manuscripts are often the most common primary source used by historians. What are some of the problems associated with these written sources (you might think of who is represented and who is not)
Manuscripts are hard to work with due to the wealth of information the needs to be deciphered through as there are countless letters and other…

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