Monday, May 16, 2011

Your Oral History Can and Will Be Used Against You in a Court of Law

The British are demanding that the United States force Boston College to give up its trove of IRA oral histories to them in order to find prosecutable information.

British success in this endeavor would cast a pall upon the historical profession. Central to oral histories is that the person interviewed will not suffer from their story. In this case, the histories are sealed until the death of the interviewee. Government access to oral histories of sensitive topics would severely undermine historians' ability to collect vital stories about our past from the participants.

Deeply disturbing.