Blog: International Committee reflections on 2013 Annual Meeting pt 2

By Leslie McCartney, International Committee Web Liaison

Over the next couple of months we will feature comments from recipients of this year’s OHA scholarships as designated by the Oral History Association’s International Committee. This month we feature comments by:

Marica Šapro-Ficović, PhD. (Public Library Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik, Croatia)
Paper Title: Oral History Shows Vibrant Life in Libraries Under War Conditions in Croatia: 1991-1995

After the completion of my research about the life of libraries under siege in Homeland war in Croatia 1991-1995, I was eager to share my experience in conducting oral history research with other oral historians. Unfortunately I didn’t have opportunity to find them in Croatia, particularly within library and information science. Though I worked hard for 6 years to collect interviews all over the country, and obtained outstanding results, I lacked knowledge about the work of other oral historians. I was wondering if the problems in conducting oral history research happened to me solely or if those were common problems.

Then I was given a fantastic opportunity to obtain the OHA international scholarship – thank you OHA- and to present my research at the Annual Meeting.

The question that followed the presentations of my session, related to the curation of oral history records, reminded me of the urgency of depositing my research materials in the Memorial and Documentation Center of Homeland War in Zagreb. However, this discussion as well as some other talks and round tables, provoqued my thoughts about the management of archival records and legal and ethical issues concerning donnations. It’s very important side of oral history research, that I wasn’t fully aware before this conference.

At the OHA AM I experienced three things that I found highly beneficial:

1) This is the first time that I have opportunity to present the results of my oral history research at the conference that had presentations of oral history researchers. Naturally, I had some trepidation, but met with great understanding;
2) This was an occasion for me to meet with people from number of countries that shared my interest in oral history research. Main thing that struck me is their enthusiasm.
3) I gathered the number of ideas for further research and other presentations;
All in all I found this conference as a great place to get assurance and make new friends.

Read the first of this blog series here.

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