Log in

CONDUCTING ORAL HISTORIES


Want to be a part of this community project? Below is more information on the nature of oral histories, along with a link to our full guide on them, that includes sample interview questions and guidelines for how to go about completing your own oral history.



SO WHAT IS AN ORAL HISTORY

An oral history is an audio recording of an interview with a person (or persons) who have personal knowledge of past events. Often they focus in on specific neighborhoods or communities with rich stories to tell. They are focused on getting the personal side of history, the stories the history books do not always tell.


AND HOW DO YOU DO ONE

We have prepared a step-by-step guide to performing oral histories within the Westview community. We’ve included sample questions to get you started as well. All of this has been developed over time, through readings and across conversations, but mostly it’s been tested by us. We have been successful, and you will be too. Download our step-by-step guide: Westview Oral History Protocol Guide.pdf. We also have an interview release form which you can use: Interview Release Form.docx.


ANYTHING ELSE I NEED TO KNOW

We have also included protocol for editing and uploading your oral history when you’re finished, with the goal of creating an easy-to-use, consistent platform for people to listen to voices of their community members whenever they’d like. While what’s uploaded will be a shortened version, the entire interview will be part of the WCO archive. 


WHO SHOULD I INTERVIEW

Maybe you already know someone who you know would make a great candidate, who never lets you go without one more story or piece of advice. That’s great: ask them if they’d be willing to be interviewed and recorded. Or maybe you’re interested in making new connections with the community. The WCO has a list of people who have been nominated for interviews or who have expressed interest in the project. They can connect you.



WHAT KIND OF QUESTIONS SHOULD YOU ASK

Ask what interests you, what you think this person will be able to talk about well. But also let them guide it. Most people have stories they want to tell, and they have just been waiting to be asked. Some sample questions (full guide below) to get you started could be: How long have you lived in Westview? What are your earliest memories of the neighborhood? What are the biggest changes you’ve seen as you lived here?




For more information, contact the WCO and download this complete guide with interview release form: 

Westview Oral History Protocol Guide.pdf

Interview Release Form.docx


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software