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One-Minute Guide to Oral Histories

 by Carole Hicke

  • Ascertain willingness of narrator to participate.

  • Research narrator's background; prepare and send outline.

  • Schedule appointments.

  • Obtain signed release agreement at first interview.

  • Tape-record interviews.

  • Get interviews transcribed.

  • Review transcript; then get narrator to review.

  • Deposit corrected transcripts, tapes, and release agreements in the appropriate library, archives, or historical society.

The One-Minute Guide to Oral History Interviewing

  • Ensure that equipment is functioning properly.

  • Label tapes with names interviewer, narrator, date, tape number.

  • Take outline, photos, clippings to interview.

  • Obtain signature on release agreement.

  • Develop rapport but remain neutral.

  • Ask who, what, where, when, why, how.

  • Remain polite but firmly in control.

  • Listen carefully--and pursue new topics.

  • Use silence.

  • Ask for examples and anecdotes as illustrations.

Copyright (C) 1997-2000 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. 
All rights reserved.

Oral History Unit Overview

Information for the Development of an Oral History Project

Oral History Project: Guidelines For Recording an Interview

Fish Bowls and Bloopers: Oral History in the Classroom

One Minute Guide to Oral Histories

Oral History Questions

Specific Oral History Questions

Oral History Lesson Plans

Oral History Websites

Oral History Activities

Teacher's Guide to the Teen Reporter Handbook

Oral History Topics, Skills and Methods

Download One Minute Guide in Word Document format.




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