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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 41, October 8, 2006, Article 27

MORE ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEWING TIPS

Granvyl Hulse writes: "Dick Johnson's tips for oral history
interviews was well done, and worth copying out. I would, however,
add a number (9) to his list, and that is to try and leave your
interviewee with a feeling that he would like to have you come
back at a later time. There is always the possibility that in
reviewing the transcribed copy you may subsequently realize that
you should have asked other questions, or need to expand on a
subject that was answered too briefly.

Oral history interviews are very much a part of our local town
history projects, and are done on a regular basis. The typed
interview is always sent to a second party for review. It is
these reviews that sometimes trigger more trips to the well.
"Go back and ask for more information on...." We have some old
timers that probably have been interviewed a dozen times. Dick
is right, limit your interviews to an hour, but it takes more
than one hour to debrief an eighty year old citizen of his or
her knowledge of town history. Thus it is quite important that
each interview end leaving the interviewee in a frame of mind
that would be happy to see you again."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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