When taking an oral history from someone, there are some basic points to be able to get the best possible results and be able to determine what is fact and what is fiction. All of it is part of the reasonably exhaustive search process.
1. Why interview – value and use
2. Compare and contrast it to other types of histories, i.e communities, property, military, etc.
3. Understand the relationship to genealogy
4. Have the proper equipment, i.e. video, audio, etc.
How to use equipment, hire a videographer
5. Develop a productive questionnaire
6. Technique: not a dialogue, listening is vital
7. Legal issues – formal release, copyright
8. Pre-interview; preparation
9.During the interview – asking open ended questions, looking and listening – interviewer is not the star here – the interviewee is the important person. DO NOT INTERVIEW A HUSBAND AND WIFE OR PARTNERS, ETC. TOGETHER!
10. After the interview – transcribing, evaluation, add to verifiable source materials.
12. It is only the beginning – much more to come
Copyright ©2021 by Sheila Benedict. All Rights Reserved