Oral History Evaluation Guidelines
Oral History Association
Pamphlet Number 3
Adopted 1989, Revised Sept. 2000
Table of Contents
Since its founding in 1967 the Oral History Association
(OHA) has grappled constantly with developing and promoting professional
standards for oral historians. This has been no easy task, given
the creative, dynamic, and multidisciplinary nature of the field.
The OHA has sought to encourage the creation of recorded interviews that
are as complete, verifiable, and usable as possible, and to discourage
both inadequate interviewing and the misuse of history. Yet it recognizes
that oral historians cannot afford to suppress ingenuity and inspiration
nor to ignore new developments in scholarship and technology.
The OHA issued its first "goals and guidelines" in 1968,
broadly stating the principles, rights, and obligations that all interviewees,
interviewers, and sponsoring institutions needed to take into consideration.
Then in 1979, at the prompting of various granting agencies, leaders of
the OHA met at the Wingspread Conference Center in Racine, Wisconsin, to
produce a set of "evaluation guidelines." These guidelines have since
provided invaluable assistance to oral history projects of all sizes and
purposes. Organized in checklist form, they offered reminders of
the myriad of issues involved in conducting, processing, and preserving
oral history interviews. Not every guideline applied to every project,
but taken together they provided a common ground for dialogue among oral
Over the next decade, new issues arose. When the
need for revision of the earlier guidelines became apparent, the OHA decided
against convening another special meeting, as done at Wingspread, and instead
appointed four committees to examine those sections of the evaluation guidelines
that required revision or entirely new material. After a year's work,
the committees presented their proposals to the members of the Association
at the annual meeting Galveston, Texas, in 1989, where their reports
were discussed, amended, and adopted at the general business meeting.
During the next year, the chairs of the four evaluation guidelines committees
analyzed, revised, and expanded the Goals and Guidelines into a new Statement
of Principles and Standards. They offered these standards for amendment
and adoption by the membership at the annual meeting in Cambridge, Massachusetts,
in November 1990.
If that process sounds convoluted, it was. But its
many stages were designed deliberately to foster thoughtful debate among
the widest cross-section of oral history practitioners. As a result,
the new standards and guidelines more specifically addressed the needs
of independent and unaffiliated researchers, as well as those of the larger
oral history programs and archives. They dealt with the problems
and potentials of videotaped interviews. They raised issues about
the use of oral history in the classroom by teachers and students.
The most intense discussions predictably dealt with ethical
issues. A greater awareness of the effects of race, class, gender,
ethnicity, and culture on interviewing, together with a heightened concern
over the impact that the oral history projects might have on the communities
in which the interviews were conducted, were woven into both the Evaluation
Guidelines and the Statement of Principles and Standards. The new
guidelines and standards encouraged oral historians to make their interviews
accessible to the community and to consider sharing the rewards and recognition
that might result from their projects with their interviewees. They
also sanctioned the use of anonymous interviews, although only in "extremely
During the 1990s, the rapid advances in technology required
yet another revision on the new ways of recording, preserving, using and
distributing oral history. In 1998 an ad hoc committee presented
additional revisions for discussion and adoption by the membership at the
annual meeting in Buffalo, New York. These revisions included new
sections on recording equipment and tape preservation, and aimed to encourage
practitioners to pay more attention to technical standards and to new technology
and media, particularly the Internet. At the same time they raised
some of the ethical issues that the new technology posed.
All of those who labored in the preparation of the principles
and standards and the evaluation guidelines trust that they will offer
positive assistance to anyone conducting oral history interviews.
While these guidelines and standards provide a basis for peer judgment
and review, their success will ultimately depend more on the willingness
of the individual oral historians and oral history projects to apply them
to their own work.
Donald A. Ritchie
Top of Page
Evaluation Guidelines Committees
Donald A. Ritchie (coordinator), US Senate Historical Office
Committee on Ethical/Legal Guidelines
Sherna B. Gluck (co-chair), California State University Long Beach
Linda Shopes (co-chair), PA Historical & Museum Commission
Albert S. Broussard, Texas A&M University
John A. Neuenschwander, Carthage College
Committee on Independent/Unaffiliated Research
Terry L. Birdwhistell (chair), University of Kentucky
Jo Blatti, Old Independence Regional Museum
Holly C. Shulman, Washington, DC
Committee on the Use of Videotape
Pamela M. Henson (chair), Smithsonian Institution
David H. Mould, Ohio University
James B. Murray, Shomberg Library
Terri A. Schorzman, Smithsonian Institution
Margaret Robertson, Minnesota Historical Society
George L. Mehaffy (chair)
Rebecca Sharpless, Baylor University
Andor Skotnes, Sage Colleges
Richard Williams, Plum Borough Senior High School
Principles and Standards Committee, 1989-1990
Donald A. Ritchie (chair), US Senate Historical Office
Willa K. Baum, University of California Berkeley
Terry L. Birdwhistell, University of Kentucky
Sherna B. Gluck, California State University Long Beach
Pamela M. Henson, Smithsonian Institution
Linda Shopes, PA Historical & Museum Commission
Ronald E. Marcello (ex officio), University of North Texas
Lila J. Goff (ex officio), Minnesota Historical Society
Technology Update Committee, 1998
Sherna Gluck(chair), California State University Long Beach
Charles Hardy, Westchester University
Marjorie McLellan, Miami University
Roy Rosenzweig, George Mason University
Top of Page
Principles and Standards of the
Oral History Association
The Oral History Association promotes oral history as a method of gathering
and preserving historical information through recorded interviews with
participants in past events and ways of life. It encourages those
who produce and use oral history to recognize certain principles, rights,
technical standards, and obligations for the creation and preservation
of source material that is authentic, useful, and reliable. These
include obligations to the interviewee, to the profession, and to the public,
as well as mutual obligations between sponsoring organizations and interviewers.
People with a range of affiliations and sponsors conduct oral history
interviews for a variety of purposes: to create archival records,
for individual research, for community and institutional projects, and
for publications and media productions. While these principles and
standards provide a general framework for guiding professional conduct,
their application may vary according to the nature of specific oral history
projects. Regardless of the purpose of the interviews, oral history should
be conducted in the spirit of critical inquiry and social responsibility
and with a recognition of the interactive and subjective nature of the
Responsibility to Interviewees:
- Interviewees should be informed of the purposes and procedures of
oral history in general and of the aims and anticipated uses of the
particular projects to which they are making their contributions.
- Interviewees should be informed of the mutual rights in the oral
history process, such as editing, access restrictions, copyrights, prior
use, royalties, and the expected disposition and dissemination of all
forms of the record, including the potential for electronic distribution.
- Interviewees should be informed that they will be asked to sign
a legal release.Interviews should remain confidential until interviewees have given
permission for their use.
- Interviewers should guard against making promises to interviewees
that the interviewers may not be able to fulfill, such as guarantees
of publication and control over the use of interviews after they have
been made public. In all future uses, however, good faith efforts should
be made to honor the spirit of the interviewee's agreement.
- Interviews should be conducted in accord with any prior agreements
made with the interviewee, and such agreements should be documented for the record.
- Interviewers should work to achieve a balance between the objectives
of the project and the perspectives of the interviewees. They should be sensitive to
the diversity of social and cultural experiences and to the implications
of race, gender, class, ethnicity, age, religion, and sexual
orientation. They should encourage interviewees to respond in their
own style and language and to address issues that reflect their concerns.
Interviewers should fully explore all appropriate areas of inquiry with the
interviewee and not be satisfied with superficial responses.
- Interviewers should guard against possible exploitation of interviewees
and be sensitive to the ways in which their interviews might be used.Interviewers
must respect the rights of interviewees to refuse to discuss certain subjects,
to restrict access to the interview, or, under Guidelines extreme circumstances,
even to choose anonymity.Interviewers should clearly explain these
options to all interviewees.
- Interviewers should use the best recording equipment within their
means to accurately reproduce the interviewee's voice and, if appropriate,
other sounds as well as visual images.
- Given the rapid development of new technologies, interviewees should
be informed of the wide range of potential uses of their interviews.
- Good faith efforts should be made to ensure that the uses of recordings
and transcripts comply with both the letter and spirit of the interviewee's agreement.
Responsibility to the Public and to the Profession:
- Oral historians have a responsibility to maintain the highest professional standards in the conduct of their work and to uphold
the standards of the various disciplines and professions with which they are affiliated.
- In recognition of the importance of oral history to an understanding of the past and of the cost and effort involved,
interviewers and interviewees should mutually strive to record candid information of lasting value and to make that
- Interviewees should be selected based on the relevance of their experiences to the subject at hand.
- Interviewers should possess interviewing skills as well as professional competence and knowledge of the subject at hand.
- Regardless of the specific interests of the project, interviewers
should attempt to extend the inquiry beyond the specific focus of the
project to create as complete a record as possible for the benefit of
- Interviewers should strive to prompt informative dialogue through challenging and perceptive inquiry. They should be
grounded in the background of the persons being interviewed and, when possible, should carefully research appropriate
documents and secondary sources related to subjects about which the interviewees can speak.
- Interviewers should make every effort to record their interviews
using the best recording equipment within their means to reproduce
accurately the interviewee's voice and, if appropriate, image. They
also should collect and record other historical documentation the
interviewee may possess, including still photographs, print materials,
and other sound and moving image recordings, if appropriate.
- Interviewers should provide complete documentation of their preparation and methods, including the circumstances of the
- Interviewers and, when possible, interviewees should review and evaluate their interviews, including any summaries or
transcriptions made from them.
- With the permission of the interviewees, interviewers should
arrange to deposit their interviews in an archival repository that is
capable of both preserving the interviews and eventually making them
available for general use. Interviewers should provide basic
information about the interviews, including project goals, sponsorship,
and funding. Preferably, interviewers should work with repositories
before conducting the interviews to determine necessary legal
Guidelines arrangements. If interviewers arrange to retain first use of
the interviews, it should be only for a reasonable time before public
- Interviewers should be sensitive to the communities from which they have collected oral histories, taking care not to
reinforce thoughtless stereotypes nor to bring undue notoriety to them. Interviewers should take every effort to make the
interviews accessible to the communities.
- Oral history interviews should be used and cited with the same care
and standards applied to other historical sources. Users have a
responsibility to retain the integrity of the interviewee's voice,
neither misrepresenting the interviewee's words nor taking them out of
- Sources of funding or sponsorship of oral history projects should be made public in all exhibits, media presentations, or
publications that result from the projects.
- Interviewers and oral history programs should conscientiously consider how they might share with interviewees and their
communities the rewards and recognition that might result from their work.
Responsibility for Sponsoring and Archival Institutions:
- Institutions sponsoring and maintaining oral
history archives have a responsibility to interviewees, interviewers,
the profession, and the public to maintain the highest technical,
professional, and ethical standards in the creation and archival
preservation of oral history interviews and related materials.
- Subject to conditions that interviewees set, sponsoring
institutions (or individual collectors) have an obligation to: prepare
and preserve easily usable records; keep abreast of rapidly developing
technologies for preservation and dissemination; keep accurate records
of the creation and processing of each interview; and identify, index,
and catalog interviews.
- Sponsoring institutions and archives should make known through a variety of means, including electronic modes of
distribution, the existence of interviews open for research.
- Within the parameters of their missions and resources, archival institutions should collect interviews generated by
independent researchers and assist interviewers with the necessary legal agreements.
- Sponsoring institutions should train interviewers. Such training should: provide them basic instruction in how to record high
fidelity interviews and, if appropriate, other sound and moving image recordings; explain the objectives of the program to
them; inform them of all ethical and legal considerations governing an interview; and make clear to interviewers what their
obligations are to the program and to the interviewees.
- Interviewers and interviewees should receive appropriate acknowledgment for their work in all forms of citation or usage.
- Archives should make good faith efforts to ensure that uses of recordings and transcripts, especially those that employ new
technologies, comply with both the letter and spirit of the interviewee's agreement.
Top of Page
Oral History Evaluation Guidelines
Purposes and Objectives
- Are the purposes clearly set forth? How realistic are they?
- What factors demonstrate a significant need for the project?
- What is the research design? How clear and realistic is it?
- Are the terms, conditions, and objectives of funding clearly made
known to judge the potential effect of such funding on the scholarly integrity
of the project? Is the allocation of funds adequate to allow the project
goals to be accomplished?
- How do institutional relationships affect the purposes and objectives?
Selection of Recording Equipment
- Should the interview be recorded on sound or visual recording equipment?
- Are the best possible recording equipment and media available within
one's budget being used?
- Are interviews recorded on a medium that meets archival preservation
- d. How well has the interviewer mastered use of the equipment upon
which the interview will be recorded?
Selection of Interviewers and Interviewees
- In what ways are the interviewers and interviewees appropriate (or
inapropriate) to the purposes and objectives?
- What are the significant omissions and why were they omitted?
Records and Provenance
- What are the policies and provisions for maintaining a record of
the provenance of interviews? Are they adequate? What can be done to improve them?
- How are records, policies, and procedures made known to interviewers,
interviewees, staff, and users?
- How does the system of records enhance the usefulness of the interviews
and safeguard the rights of those involved?
Availability of Materials
- How accurate and specific is the publicizing of the interviews?
- How is information about interviews directed to likely users?
Have new media and electronic methods of distribution been considered to
publicize materials and make them available?
- How have the interviews been used?
- What is the overall design for finding aids?li>Are the finding aids adequate and appropriate?
- How available are the finding aids?
- Have new technologies been used to develop the most effective finding aids?
Management, Qualifications, and Training
- How effective is the management of the program/project?
- What are the provisions for supervision and staff review?
- What are the qualifications for staff positions?
- What are the provisions for systematic and effective training?
- What improvements could be made in the management of the program/project?
What procedures are followed to assure that interviewers/programs
recognize and honor their responsibility to the interviewees? Specifically,
what procedures are used to assure that:
- The interviewees are made fully aware of the goals and objectives
of the oral history program/project?
- The interviewees are made fully aware of the various stages of the
program/project and the nature of their participation at each stage?
- The interviewees are given the opportunity to respond to questions
as freely as possible and are not subjected to stereotyped assumptions based
on race, ethnicity, gender, class, or any other social/cultural characteristic?
- The interviewees understand their rights to refuse to discuss certain
subjects, to seal portions of the interviews, or in extremely sensitive
circumstances even to chooseto remain anonymous?
- The interviewees are fully informed about the potential uses of
the material, including deposit of the interviews in a repository, publication
in all forms of print or electronic media, including the Internet or other emerging
technologies, and all forms of public programming?
- The interviewees are provided a full and easily comprehensible
explanation of their legal rights before being asked to sign a contract or deed
of gift transferring rights, title, and interest in the tape(s) and transcript(s)
to an administering authority or individual?
- Care is taken so that the distribution and use of the material complies
with the letter and spirit of the interviewees' agreements?
- All prior agreements made with the interviewees are honored?
- The interviewees are fully informed about the potential for
and disposition of royalties that might accrue from the use of their interviews,
including all forms of public programming?
- The interviews and any other related materials will remain confidential
until the interviewees have released their contents?
What procedures are followed to assure that interviewers/programs
recognize and honor their responsibilities to the profession? Specifically,
what procedures assure that:
- The interviewer has considered the potential for public programming
and research use of the interviews and has endeavored to prevent any
exploitation of or harm to interviewees?
- The interviewer is well trained to conduct the interview in a professional
manner, including the use of appropriate recording equipment and media?
- The interviewer is well grounded in the background of the subject(s)
to be discussed?
- The interview will be conducted in a spirit of critical inquiry
and that efforts will be made to provide as complete a historical
record as possible?
- The interviewees are selected based on the relevance of their experience
to the subject at hand and that an appropriatecross-section of interviewees
is selected for any particular project?
- The interview materials, including recordings, transcripts, relevant
photographic, moving image, and sound documents as wellas agreements and
documentation of the interview process, will be placed in a repository after
a reasonable period of time, subject to the agreements made with the interviewee
and that the repository will administer their use in accordance with those agreements?
- The methodologies of the program/project, as well as its goals and
objectives, are available for the general public to evaluate?
- The interview materials have been properly cataloged, including
appropriate acknowledgment and credit to the interviewer, and that their availability
for research use is made known?
What procedures are followed to assure that interviewers and programs
are aware of their mutual responsibilities and obligations? Specifically,
what procedures are followed to assure that:
- Interviewers are made aware of the program goals and are fully informed
of ethical and legal considerations?
- Interviewers are fully informed of all the tasks they are expected
to complete in an oral history project?
- Interviewers are made fully aware of their obligations to the oral
history program/sponsoring institution, regardless of their own personal interest
in a program/project?
- Programs/sponsoring institutions treat their interviewers equitably
by providing for appropriate compensation, acknowledging all products resulting from their
work, and supporting fieldwork practices consistent with professional standards
whenever there is a conflict betweenthe parties to the interview?
- Interviewers are fully informed of their legal rights and of their
responsibilities to both the interviewee and to the sponsoring institution?
What procedures are followed to assure that interviewers and programs
recognize and honor their responsibilities to the community/public?
Specifically, what procedures assure that:
- The oral history materials and all works created from them will
be available and accessible to the community that participated in the project?
- Sources of extramural funding and sponsorship are clearly noted
for each interview of project?
- The interviewers and project endeavor not to impose their own values
on the community being studied?
- The tapes and transcripts will not be used unethically?
Recording Preservation Guidelines
Recognizing the significance of the recording for historical and
cultural analysis and the potential uses of oral history interviews in
nonprint media, what procedures are followed to assure that:
- Appropriate care and storage of the original recordings begins immediately
after their creation?
- The original recordings are duplicated and stored according to accepted
archival standards [i.e. stored in closed boxes in a cool, dry, dust-free environment]
- Original recordings are re-duplicated onto the best preservation
media before significant deterioration occurs?
- Every effort is made in duplicating tapes to preserve a faithful
facsimile of the interviewee's voice?
- All transcribing, auditing, and other uses are done from a duplicate,
not the original recording?
Tape/Transcript Processing Guidelines
Information about the Participants:
- Are the names of both interviewer and interviewee clearly indicated
on the tape/abstract/transcript and in catalog materials?
- Is there adequate biographical information about both interviewer
and interviewee? Where can it be found?
- Are the tapes, transcripts, time indices, abstracts, and other materials
presented for use identified as to the program/project of which they
are a part?
- Are the date and place of the interview indicated on the tape, transcript,
time index, and abstract and in appropriate catalog material?
- Are there interviewers' statements about the preparation for or
circumstances of the interviews? Where? Are they generally available to
researchers? How are the rights of the interviewees protected against
improper use of such commentaries?
- Are there records of contracts between the program and the interviewee?
How detailed are they? Are they available to researchers? If so, with what
safeguards for individual rights and privacy?
Interview Tape Information
- Is the complete original tape preserved? Are there one or
more duplicate copies?
- If the original or any duplicate has been edited, rearranged, cut,
or spliced in any way, is there a record of that action, including by
whom, when, and for what purposes the action was taken?
- Do the tape label and appropriate catalog materials show the recording
speed, level, and length of the interview? If videotaped, do the tape
label and appropriate catalog information show the format (e.g., U-Matic,
VHS, 8mm, etc.) and scanning system and clearly indicate the tracks
on which the audio and time code have been recorded?
- In the absence of transcripts, are there suitable finding aids to
give users access to information on the tapes? What form do they take?
Is there a record of who prepared these finding aids?
- Are researchers permitted to listen to or view the tapes?
Are there any restrictions on the use of the tapes?
Interview Transcript Information
- Is the transcript an accurate record of the tape? Is a careful
record kept of each step of processing the transcript, including
who transcribed, audited, edited, retyped, and proofread the transcripts in final copy?
- Are the nature and extent of changes in the transcript from the
original tape made known to the user?
- What finding aids have been prepared for the transcript? Are
they suitable and adequate? How could they be improved?
- Are there any restrictions on access to or use of the transcripts?
Are they clearly noted?
- Are there any photo materials or other supporting documents for
the interview? Do they enhance and supplement the text?
- If videotaped, does the transcript contain time references and annotation
describing the complementary visuals on the videotape?
Interview Content Guidelines
Does the content of each interview and the cumulative content of
the whole collection contribute to accomplishing the objectives of the
- In what particulars does each interview or the whole collection
succeed or fall short of the objectives of the project or program?
- Do audio and visual tapes in the collection avoid redundancy and
supplement one another in interview content and focus?
In what ways does the program/project contribute to historical understanding?
- In what particulars does each interview or the whole collection
succeed or fall short in making such a contribution?
- To what extent does the material add fresh information, fill gaps
in the existing record, and/or provide fresh insights and perspectives?
- To what extent is the information reliable and valid? Is it
eyewitness or hearsay evidence? How well and in what manner does it meet
internal and external tests of corroboration, consistency, and explication
- What is the relationship of the interview information to existing
documentation and historiography?
- How does the texture of the interview impart detail, richness, and
flavor to the historical record?
- What is the nature of the information contributed? Is it facts,
perceptions, interpretations, judgments, or attitudes, and how
does each contribute to understanding?
- Are the scope, volume, and representativeness of the population
interviewed appropriate and sufficient to the purpose? Is there enough
testimony to validate the evidence without passing the point of diminishing
returns? How appropriate is the quantity to the purposes of the study?
- How do the form and structure of the interviews contribute to making
the content understandable?
- To what extent does the audio and/or video recording capture unique
sound and visual information?
- Do the visual and other sound elements complement and/or supplement
the verbal information? Has the interview captured processes, objects, or
other individuals in the visual and sound environment?
Interview Conduct Guidelines
Use of Other Sources
- Is the oral history technique the best way to acquire the information?
If not, what other sources exist? Has the interviewer used them and sought
to preserve them if necessary?
- Has the interviewer made an effort to consult other relevant oral
- Is the interview technique a valuable way to supplement existing
- Do videotaped interviews complement, not duplicate, existing still
or moving visual images?
- Is the interviewer well informed about the subjects under discussion?
- Are the primary and secondary sources used to prepare for the interview
- Has the interviewer mastered the use of appropriate recording equipment
and the field- recording techniques that insure a high-fidelity recording?
Interviewee Selection and Orientation
- Does the interviewee seem appropriate to the subjects discussed?
- Does the interviewee understand and respond to the interview purposes?
- Has the interviewee prepared for the interview and assisted in the
- If a group interview, have composition and group dynamics been considered
in selecting participants?
- Do interviewer and interviewee collaborate with each other toward
- Is there a balance between empathy and analytical judgment in the
- If videotaped, is the interviewer/interviewee relationship maintained
despite the presence of a technical crew? Do the technical personnel understand
how a videotaped oral history interview differs from a scripted production?
Technique and Adaptive Skills
- In what ways does the interview show that the interviewer has used
skills appropriate to: the interviewee's condition (health,
memory, metal alertness, ability to communicate, time schedule, etc.)
and the interview location and conditions (disruptions and interruptions,
equipment problems, extraneous participants, background noises, etc.)?
- What evidence is there that the interviewer has: thoroughly
explored pertinent lines of thought? followed up on significant
clues? Made an effort to identify sources of information?
Employed critical challenges when needed? Thoroughly explored
the potential of the visual environment, if videotaped?
- Has the progam/project used recording equipment and media that are
appropriate for the purposes of the work and potential nonprint as well
as print uses of the material? Are the recordings of the highest appropriate technical
quality? How could they be improved?
- If videotaped, are lighting, composition, camera work, and sound
of the highest appropriate technical quality?
- In the balance between content and technical quality, is the technical
quality good without subordinating the interview process?
- Do the biases of the interviewer interfere with or influence the
responses of the interviewee?
- What information is available that may inform the users of any prior
or separate relationship between the interviewer and interviewee?
- Does the interviewer pursue the inquiry with historical integrity?
- Do other purposes being served by the interview enrich or diminish
- What does the interview contribute to the larger context of historical
knowledge and understanding?
Independent/Unaffiliated Researcher Guidelines
Creation and Use of Interviews
- Has the independent/unaffiliated researcher followed the guidelines
for obtaining interviews as suggested in the Program/Project Guideline section?
- Have proper citation and documentation been
provided in works created
(books, articles, audio-visual productions, or other public
presentations) to inform users of the work about the interviews used
and the permanent location of the interviews?
- Do works created include an explanation of the interview project,
including editorial procedures?
- Has the independent/unaffiliated researcher arranged to deposit
the works created in an appropriate repository?
Transfer of Interviews to Archival Repository
- Has the independent/unaffiliated researcher properly obtained the
agreement of the repository before making representations about the disposition of the interviews?
- Is the transfer consistent with agreements or understandings with
interviewees? Were legal agreements obtained from interviewees?
- Has the researcher provided the repository with adequate descriptions
of the creation of the interviews and the project?
- What is the technical quality of the recorded interviews?
Are the interviews transcribed, abstracted, or indexed, and, if so,
what is the quality?
Educator and Student Guidelines
Has the educator:
- Become familiar with the "Oral History Evaluation Guidelines" and
conveyed their substance to the student?
- Ensured that each student is properly prepared
before going into
the community to conduct oral history interviews, including
familiarization with the ethical issues surrounding oral history and
the obligation to seek the informed consent of the interviewee?
- Become familiar with the literature, recording equipment, techniques,
and processes of oral history so that the best possible instruction can be presented to the student?
- Worked with other professionals and organizations to provide the
best oral history experience for the student?
- Considered that the project may merit preservation and worked with
other professionals and repositories to preserve and disseminate these collected materials?
- Shown willingness to share expertise with other educators, associations, and organizations?
Has the student:
- Become thoroughly familiar with the equipment,
techniques, and processes of oral history interviewing and the
development of research using oral history interviews?
- Explained to the interviewee the purpose of the interview and how
it will be used and obtained the interviewee's informed consent to participate?
- Treated the interviewee with respect?
- Signed a receipt for and returned any materials borrowed from the
- Obtained a signed legal release for the interview?
- Kept her/his word about oral or written promises made to the interviewee?
- Given proper credit (oral or written) when using oral testimony
and used the material in context?
Top of Page
Allen, Barbara, and William Lynwood Montell.
From Memory to History: Using Oral Sources in
Local Historical Research. Nashville:
American Association for State and Local History, 1981.
Baum, Willa K.Oral History
for the Local Historical SocietyRevised
edition. Nashville: American Association for State and Local History,
---------. Transcribing and Editing Oral History.
Nashville: American Association for State and Local History,
Brecher, Jeremy.History from
Below: How to Uncover and Tell the Story of Your Community,
Association, or Union. New Haven, Conn.:
Commonwork Pamphlets/Advocate Press, 1986.
Charlton, Thomas L. Oral
History for Texans 2d ed. Austin: Texas
Historical Commission, 1985.
Davis, Cullom, et al. . Chicago: American
Library Association, 1977.
Douglass, Enid H. ''Oral History,'' in David F. Trask
and Robert W. Pomeroy, eds ., The Craft of
Public History: An Annotated Select Bibliography.
Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press,
Dunaway, David K., and Willa K. Baum, eds.
Oral History: An Interdisciplinary
Anthology. Nashville: American Association
for State and Local History in cooperation with the Oral History
Fletcher, William. Recording
Your Family History: A Guide to Preserving Oral
History with Video Tape, Audio Tape,
Suggested Topics and Questions, Interview Techniques. New York: Dodd,
Mead & Co., 1987.
Frisch, Michael. A Shared
Authority: Essays on the Craft and Meaning of Oral and Public
History. Albany: State University of New York
Grele, Ronald J., ed.
Envelopes of Sound: The Art of Oral
History. Revised edition. Westport, Conn.:
Henige, David. Oral
Historiography. New York: Longman,
Hoffman, Alice M., and Howard S. Hoffman.
Archives of Memory: A Soldier Recalls World
War II. Lexington: University Press of
Hoopes, James. Oral History:
An Introduction for Students. Chapel Hill:
University of North Carolina Press, 1979.
Ives, Edward D. An Oral
Historian's Work. Oral History Instructional
Videotape. Northeast Historic Film, Rt. 175,
Blue Hill Falls, ME 04615.
Ives, Edward D. The
Tape-Recorded Interview: A Manual for Fieldworkers in Folklore and
Oral History. Knoxville: University of
Tennessee Press, 1980.
Jeffrey, Jaclyn, and Glenace Edwall, eds.
Memory and History: Essays on Remembering and
Interpreting Human Experience. Lanham, Md.:
University Press of America, 1992.
Jolly, Brad. Videotaping Local
History. Nashville: American Association for
State and Local History, 1982.
Joutard, Philippe. Ces voix
qui nous viennent du passe. Paris: Hachette,
Labrie, Vivian. Precis de
transcription de documents d'archives orales.
Quebec: Institut Quebecois de Recherche sur la Culture, 1982.
Lanman, Barry A., and George L. Mehaffy. "Oral
History in the Secondary School Classroom." Los Angeles: Oral History
Association, Pamphlet No. 2, 1989.
Mercier, Laurie, and Madeline Buckendorf.
Using Oral History in Community History
Projects. Los Angeles: Oral History
Association, Pamphlet No. 4, 1992.
Mishler, Elliot G. Research
Interviewing: Context and Narrative.
Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1986.
Moss, William W. Archives,
Oral History and Oral Tradition: A RAMP
Study. Paris: UNESCO, 1986.
Moss, William W. Oral History
Program Manual. New York: Praeger,
Nathan, Harriet. Critical
Choices in Interviews: Conduct, Use, and Research
Role. Berkeley, Calif.: Institute of
Governmental Studies, 1986.
Neuenschwander, John A.
" Oral History and the Law." Los Angeles:
Oral History Association, Pamphlet No. 1, 1985.
Oblinger, Carl. Interviewing
the People of Pennsylvania. Harrisburg:
Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 1978.
Oral History Association. The
Oral History Review, published twice a year;
OHA Newsletter, published quarterly.
Oral History Index.
Westport, Conn.: Meckler, 1990.
Portelli, Alessandro. The Death of Luigi
Trastulli and Other Stories: Form and Meaning in Oral History.
Albany: State University of New York Press, 1991.
Ritchie, Donald. Doing Oral
History. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1995.
Sapriza, Graciela. Historia
oral e historia de vida: Aportes para una historiografia
feminista. Montevideo: Grecmu .
Seminario de Historia Oral del Departamento de
Historia Contemporanea de la Universidad de
Barcelona. Historia y Fuente
Oral. Published twice a year.
Shopes, Linda. Using Oral History for a Family History Project.
Nashville: American Association for State and Local History,
Technical Leaflet 123, 1980.
Sitton, Thad, et al. Oral
History: A Guide for Teachers (and Others).
Austin: University of Texas Press, 1983.
Smith, Allen, ed. Directory of
Oral History Collections. Phoenix, Ariz.:
Oryz Press, 1987.
Sommer, Barbara and Mary Kay Quinlan. Oral History Manual.
New York: Alta Mira Press, 2002.
Stielow, Frederick J. The Management of Oral History Sound
Archives. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1986.
Stricklin, David, and Rebecca Sharpless, eds.
The Past Meets the Present: Essays on Oral
History. Lanham, Md.: University Press of
Thompson, Paul. Oral History:
The Voice of the Past. Revised edition. New
York: Oxtord University Press, 1988.
Vansina, Jan. Oral Tradition as History.
Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985.
Wood, Linda P. Oral
History Projects in Your Classroom. Carlisle, PA: Oral History Association,
Yow, Valerie Raleigh. Recording Oral History: A Practical
Guide for Social Scientists. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.,