Oral History Interviews

Oral History Interviews

Introduction to planning and conducting oral history interviews.

This curated collection provides an introduction to planning and conducting oral history interviews.

Oral history interviews can be as simple as a recorded conversation with a family member, or can be as expansive as a large-scale community documentation project. While the scope and focus of each project is unique, there are some core concepts to be familiar with before undertaking an oral history project of any size.

After reading, watching, and working through these resources you will be prepared to plan and conduct oral history interviews. If you are new to doing oral histories, we suggest reviewing the resources below, and the sections in the right sidebar, in the order they are presented. However, all resources can stand alone if you are looking for something specific.

This collection is divided into the following sub-collections:

  • Documentation - Resources for planning and collecting interview metadata and associated paperwork. Includes examples of informed consent forms and deeds of gift, interview inventories, and recording metadata guidelines.
  • Equipment - Resources include basic interview kit equipment purchasing guides and recommendations.
  • The Interview - Guidelines on conducting an oral history interview. Includes equipment and planning set up, guidance on conduct and interview techniques, and sample interview questions.
  • Additional Resources - Includes other SHN resources and links to external sites that explore this information in more depth. Also includes links to presentations and case studies of successful oral history projects.

This collection focuses on planning, preparing for, and conducting oral history interviews. For other related topics, see the Additional Resources section of this collection.

This collection was last updated on December 23rd, 2020.

Items in Collection: 
Sustainable Heritage Network
Audio Recordings, Language Documentation
Alaska Native Language Archive, Sustainable Heritage Network
Archival Processing, Language Documentation, Workshop Session