The Allama Iqbal Open University has established a center of Excellence and Chairs for Seerat-Un-Nabi ﷺ, Iqbal Chair on Tasawwuf and Muslim thoughts, and Created Archives of Intelligentsia of Pakistan (Dialogue with History-Series of Interviews).
Historically, societies have long relied on oral tradition of preserving a record of the past in the absence of written histories. From East to Western primitive worlds, usage of oral material goes back to the early Greek historians who extensively used oral reports from witnesses. The modern concept of oral history was developed in the 1940s at Columbia University. Across the globe digital preservation serves to foster protection of digital content through a collaborative network of mentors/organization experts working in national education institutions.
As Oral History is described ‘collection and study of historical information about individuals and societies, important events, or everyday life using audiotapes, videotapes, or transcriptions of planned conversations. These interviews are conducted with people who participated in or observed past events and whose memories and perceptions of these are to be preserved as an aural record for future generations.’ Oral History sometimes used in a more general sense to refer to any information about past events that people who experienced them tell anybody and professional/teachers of history consider this to be oral history.
The aim to record oral conversations of various eminent/public intellectuals to obtain information from different perspectives and most of these cannot be found in written sources. Oral history also refers to information gathered in this manner and to a written work (published or unpublished) based on such data, often preserved in large repositories such a libraries. Knowledge presented by Oral History (OH) is unique in that it shares the tacit perspective, thoughts, opinions and understanding of their interviewee in its primary status.
The United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, have all established oral history associations and offer educational classes on the subject. These programs are aimed at educating future oral historians on key issues relating to oral history, such as preservation. This is highly debated subject matter, due to increasing technology and funding.
Due to the growing importance or oral histories, the academic world as well as the international community, have increased funding:
- to produce more oral histories;
- to preserve oral history collections; and
- to train more oral historians.
There are growing numbers of oral history programs and classes in college and university campuses across USA, Canada, and South Asia. During COVID-19 world has change in many ways and the whole learning process has been shifted online from being at distance or through digital sources.