The recorded interview is a central component of oral history reminiscences, but several scholars in North America and Europe, representing diverse research fields, have liberally expanded the definition of oral history. They include other types of archival materials, many with orality in their origins but significantly without the essential characteristics of oral history. The author illustrates the recurring and unwarranted designation of such records as oral history documents. Revising definitions of oral history he broached in 1980 and 1984, he proposes a new version, emphasizing the critical interaction between interviewer-historians and historically knowledgeable informants, but still archivally based.
Archival Issues is the journal of the Midwest Archives Conference, one of the largest regional professional archival organizations in the country. Published twice annually, the peer-reviewed journal circulates throughout the United States and internationally. Submissions to the journal come from across North America, and are welcome from anywhere in the world. Archival Issues is considered one of the premier journals of archival literature in the United States, and its scope extends well beyond the boundaries of the Midwest. The journal began in 1976 as The Midwestern Archivist. In 1992, the publication changed its name to Archival Issues.
The Midwest Archives Conference is one of the nation's largest regional professional associations for archivists. Founded in 1972, MAC now has approximately one thousand individual members. MAC's nearly 200 institutional members include a variety of corporate, government, religious, and university archives, as well as historical societies and other manuscripts repositories and special collection libraries. The MAC region is the 13 heartland states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Dedicated to the continuing education and professional development of all who work with historical records of all formats, MAC hosts an annual conference in the spring and a subject-specific symposium in the autumn. It also publishes a quarterly newsletter and a biannual journal, Archival Issues.