Oral History – de mensen en hun verhalen

Dealing with contemporary history is unthinkable without stories about the past. For many years, Selma Leydesdorff has played a central role, both nationally and internationally, in the development of oral history, a discipline that in recent decades has grown into an internationally recognised form of historiography.

 

In 2004, she reported on the early development of oral history in The People and the Words. Now, almost a decade later, it is time to take stock again. Her current insights are based on new research into how the stories of traumatised people change prevailing images of the past. She looks back on her work on the traumatic memories of the women of Srebrenica and the lives of survivors of trauma, Sobibor and other camps.

 

Leydesdorff also argues for better coordination of the now extensive and scattered source material, and for a digital catch-up in order to make these sources, which inevitably renew our view of the past, more accessible.

Dienke Hondius, Arjan van Hessen and Fridus Steijlen made short contributions on, respectively, ‘black history’, digitisation and (post-)colonial memory.