De mensen en de woorden

Wat is mondelinge geschiedenis?

Oral history en geschiedenisonderwijs

Oral testimony has become increasingly popular in the heritage field and in popular culture. The relative lack of commitment to oral history in history education in the Netherlands is therefore surprising. Unlike in our neighbouring countries, and also in the Anglo-Saxon world, oral history is hardly addressed in the curricula of history teachers.


Existing initiatives depend entirely on the efforts of individual teachers, and are often disconnected from other interview projects, heritage institutions, and the school curriculum. A solid foundation and a sustainable structure are needed to strengthen and expand the important oral history initiatives in education. These issues become even more pressing against the backdrop of the digital revolution and its implications for oral history.


What possibilities are there for oral history in the classroom, and (how) can digitisation strengthen oral history practice in education and researh? The contributions in this chapter are based on focus group interviews with history teachers, questionnaires among teachers and students, and/or literature studies. They present various possibilities for implementing oral history in history education, as well as suggestions for further research.



Susan Hogervorst


Het persoonlijke verhaal maakt geschiedenis behapbaar

Tim Huijgen



‘Dit vergeet ik nooit meer’
Marloes Hülsken


‘Echte oorlogsgeschiedenis’
Susan Hogervorst


Leren digitaliseren
Norah Karrouche

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.

The Oral History Reader

The Voice of the Past: Oral History

Oral history theory

Doing Oral History

Oral History and Education. Theories, Dilemmas, and Practices

Oral history and digital humanities: Voice, Access, and Engagement