Doing oral history is most often a pleasant and edifying experience that harms nobody and benefits many. But there are subjects that are very compelling and important being studied by historians, political scientists, and sociologists that touch on difficult and sometimes dangerous topics. The Belfast Project is one such case.
This is one of the reasons why institutions have embraced Institutional Review Board (IRB) regulations for oral history. Twenty years ago, this was almost uniformly not the case. We will look at IRB today, the "dangers" of oral history as perceived by institutions, and why this remains an area of oral history subject to future change.
This is still a hot topic as shown by this July, 2014 Boston Globe piece.
CNN did an extended piece on it. This website seems to want the tapes out:
And then counter it with this Forbes article: