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E C O R D S T E R R I T O R YR 5March 2002 Oral History In late November 2001, a well-attended one-day workshop on oral history methods and issues was held at the Darwin offi ce of the NTAS, presented by Francis Good. The majority of participants were staff of the Aboriginal Areas Protection Authority (AAPA) in Darwin or Alice Springs. A group of interviewers soon to commence on a project with retired NT police offi cers also attended, together with several individual researchers who practise oral history. The day began with an overview of defi nitions for oral history, and contrasts in some theoretical and practical considerations that arise in the practice of oral history for different and sometimes quite varied outcomes. Dr David Ritchie of AAPA, and Dr Bill Wilson (who is steering the retired police project) both spoke about these issues from their particular perspectives. Then, a brief look at the oral history operations at the NTAS was followed by sessions on planning and preparation, the dynamics of the interview situation, and questioning technique (with brief extracts of interview recordings as examples). The afternoon began with a session on recording equipment and discussion of differences between analog and digital technology. It concluded by looking at ways that interview recordings are documented, and some issues around access to the material, including clearance with interviewees and legal release forms for deposit and use. In October 2001, an enthusiastic group of students from Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE) attended a half-day orientation and learning session on oral history at the NTAS, where they were introduced to the formalities of this kind of interviewing and recording, and the oral history work of the NTAS. The session concluded with a much-appreciated visit to the Search Room. Here, Cathy Flint explained the range of material available to researchers, and how oral history material is searched and accessed, both through the catalogue of interviews and the computer-based searching of interview summaries and content listings. The NTAS uses ISYS software to provide the search facility to researchers. News from the USA Almost before the dust had settled following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., oral historians were making plans to document the events many observers were calling a turning point in American history. (Newsletter of the Oral History Association, Winter 2001) The Columbia University Oral History Research Offi ce and Columbias Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy have received a grant of $US50 000 from the National Science Foundation to begin a wide-scale interview project, called the September 11, 2001, Oral History Narrative and Memory Project. Further details can be found in the OHAs Newsletter, held at the NTAS. The NTAS also holds a copy of the OHAs Oral History Review. The latest issue (for Summer/Fall 2001) includes an article from Australia by Joseph Pugliese: Fighting with Our Tongues: The Politics of Genre in Aboriginal Oral Histories. In addition, there are reviews of 16 new publications. In a brief article, Oral Histories Online (P. 139), Susan Levine writes about cutting-edge developments at the University of California Berkeley, Regional Oral History Offi ce. These can be sampled at http:// www.lib.berkeley.edu/BANC/ROHO/ohonline. Levine describes content and ancillary information available, and raises some interesting questions about the usefulness of online archives. Cathy Flint in the NTAS search room with BITE students, October 2001 Some of the attendees at the oral history workshop, November 2001
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