Help for Family Oral History at Baylor U

Some very good guidelines on family oral history at Baylor’s Institute for Oral History website. Go thou and read them. It’s a good distillation that touches on all the salient points.

On this site, I bounce between techno-geeky details of digital audio (currently in focus with the analog/digital article I just posted) and the very human-to-human methods to interview family members. The 10 steps listed on the Baylor Family Oral History site deal far more with the approach to the interview/the family history, how to structure it, how to ask questions “Ask broad, open-ended questions. Above all, be a good listener. Allow the interviewee time to think.” and coming up with a within-the-family written agreement.

The concusion of Item #2—Think far into the future to the possibilities for using and preserving the historical document you’re about to create—has this statement:

Because you want the oral history to last and be useful, choose equipment and tapes that will give good, clear recordings.

Amen and amen. Tapes are tried and true, and oh-so-doable, but I’ll add to the “choose equipment” statement digital formats. Lots more of that to come here.

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Posted by Susan A. Kitchens on May 04, 2006 in • Links
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