Oral History Workshop – 14

Introduction and appendices

Shahed Yazdan
Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan



The oral history website is going to provide the educational materials of some oral history workshops to the audience in written form. The present series has been prepared using the materials of one of these workshops. As you will see, many of the provided contents are not original or less said contents, but we have tried to provide categorized contents so that they can be used more.




Compiler’s introduction

When the compilation of the book is ready based on the specified chapters from the first to the last chapter, we need to add sections before and after it to make the text complete.

The compiler needs to write an introduction for the beginning of the book. This introduction is different with the one written probably by the publisher or narrator. The description of the work is usually written in this introduction. For instance, by whom and where has the interview been conducted; the number of interview sessions; the time of the interviews and in general, the executive description of the work is included in the introduction. At the end of the introduction, the people who have worked hard during this work are thanked out of respect.

The volume of the introduction should be between two to four pages as it is currently customary. The average number of words can be between 500 to 1000 words.

This text should be written by the compiler in a short and clear manner without compliments; exactly like what was said about the text compiler.


Narrator’s handwriting

To improve the book, it is better to take a one-page handwriting from the narrator after compiling, to confirm that the contents written in this book are the same contents that he or she has stated in the interview sessions.



Books usually have post-text sections, which are known as appendices. Appendices of the book can include the following:


- Photos

The most famous appendix is the photo. The photos at the end of the book must be of good quality and printed in good quality.

The reason for choosing the photo should be the text of the book; it means that something is said about that photo in the text of the book. The ideal is to include the photo number in parentheses in the main text (for example photo number 4) and write the page number of the article related to the photo in the description of the photo. In fact, the photo and the text are linked together.

The photos in appendices must have an identification certificate, that is, as much information as possible, such as place, time, photographer, etc., which are related to the photo, should be explained under the photo. There are details in the identification certificate of the photo that need to be paid attention to in order to have the most functionality for the audience. For example, when we write the first person from the right side, we must specify whether the right side is the photo itself or the viewer of the photo.

Regarding the number of photos, it should be noted that the more this number increases, the more it will increase the cost of publishing the book. Therefore, it is better to select photos that are more unique and in coordination with the publisher and are included in this section.


- Documents

Letters, newspaper clippings, decrees, calques, maps, etc. are examples of documents that should be included in the appendices section of the book if necessary. In the case of documents, all the features mentioned for the photo must be observed. Another point is that if the text of the document is illegible for any reason, it is necessary to provide the text of the document in typed form on the side page.


- Content index (concordance)

Unfortunately, very little importance is given to the concordance of oral history books in Iran; but to prepare a professional and research book, it is necessary to prepare this index and include it at the end of the book. The higher the content index of the book, the higher its research rank will be. This list should be prepared at least based on the list of places and people, but a list of operations, terms, weapons, etc. can also be added to it based on the content of the book.


- Reference list

One of the parts of the appendices can be the reference list that the compiler has used in the footnotes. This list should be in alphabetical order. A reference list gives more credibility to the work.



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