Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Linking Local history

I woke up this morning to an interesting email from the compiler of a new internet directory for those with a local history bent, Ian Elsom. His Linking Local History page mainly shows NZ and UK links at the moment.


  1. That's a great list of resources he has there, he's been very busy! :)
    Good to see oral history included; for too long (here in Oz at least) oral history traditions have been dismissed as "unreliable" when they can yield so many clues/answers.

  2. I agree, Jayne. It pays to treat oral history as you would any other source of information on local history. Sure, it's based on people's memories, and we all know that memories are fallible and prone to the teller's interpretation of what really happened. But, oral history does indeed provide clues, and a point of view on the past which you don't get from academic histories. They should never be dismissed, but accepted where they are part of a wider gathering of information. To rely solely on oral histories though is like relying solely on newspaper reports, or on tertiary sources -- you run the risk of getting things skewed.

  3. Thanks for the link Lisa - and for your comment Jayne. A great encouragement to keep busy, though now I have more blogs to follow.