The Future of using Oral History to understand the Cold War in Britain

In 2018, the methodology of oral history is changing rapidly. With new data protection laws, anxieties over privacy, the development of technology, and perhaps most interestingly, the increasing presence of ‘external’ and ‘virtual’ memories.

We conduct and use oral history interviews, historians must consider the new channels of knowledge that exist in the 21st century and the ways in which these inform and influence the interview. Through Google, participants are able to ‘fact check’ themselves; through VR, participants are able to visit places and experience the Cold War even though they weren’t physically present; and through new privacy anxieties, the processes and ethics of oral history must change to ensure the protection and confidentiality of participants.

Watch the video below for more thoughts!

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