Oral History Interview & Importance – Part 25

Ending the Interview

Hamid Qazvini
Translated by Natalie Haghverdian

2017-10-10


Oral history interview like any other activity has an ending. The ending is as important as its beginning. It is not an exaggeration to compare it with a musician who starts a piece in lento and then progresses to allegro and then back to lento at the end. In oral history interview, the beginning shall be slow in a natural pace to maintain its framework and assist the narrator in recalling memories.

The interviewer will make efforts to ask questions in a thematic and chronological outline during the interview and starts and ends in a specific point. By the end of each interview session (should there be more than one) the interviewer shall record the recommendations of the narrator and follow up on them carefully. Some recommendations might include the following:

  1. Publication mode (the article prior to publication, modifications, edition, printing or digital publication, etc.)
  2. Concerning individuals and specific subjects discussed during the interview.
  3. The interview approach in the next sessions
  4. Archiving and audio recordings and manuscripts
  5. Any other additional documents including pictures, etc.

 

Narrator’s Written Agreement

It is essential in oral history interviews to secure a written agreement indicating the consent of the narrator for the archive, publication and exploitation of the interview content. Any verbal agreement might be forgotten or be subject to misinterpretations or different perceptions which might cause trouble in the future with irreparable consequences. Hence, the framework and limits and outline of the discussion shall be set forth and respectfully endeavor to secure a written agreement to avoid any probable misunderstandings.

 

Leaving the Session

The interviewer shall leave contact information at the end of the interview session to establish and maintain communication and facilitate the access of the narrator both to the interviewer and the respective organization. Also, the oral history scholar shall avoid any uncustomary requests which fall outside the interview framework. Requests such as receiving tokens or special recommendations on personal issues (especially by narrators in charge of critical political and executive affairs) or insisting on keeping in touch and troubling the narrator are not recommended.

I remember many years back when a colleague conducted multiple sessions with an important political and executive figure. Later, in another session the same individual asked me: Did your colleague deal with his issues? Unaware of everything I responded: what issues? He stated some and said: Your colleague used to discuss one of his problems in every session; administration issues, educational issues which were of his own or those of a family member or relative. I did what I could. I then figured that my dear colleague was more interested in resolving his personal issues than collecting any answers to historical questions in play!

 

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 1 - Oral History, Path to Cultural Dialogue

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 2 - Characteristics of an Interviewer

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 3 - Selecting a Subject

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 4 - Narrator Identification & Selection

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 5 - Goal Setting

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 6 - Importance of Pre-interview Data Collection

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 7 - To Schedule & Coordinate an Interview

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 8 - Required Equipment & Accessories

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 9 - Presentation is vital

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 10 - Interview Room

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 11 - Pre-interview Justifications

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 12 - How to Start an Interview

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 13 - Proper Query

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 14 - Sample Query

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 15 - How to ask questions?

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 16 - Body Language

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 17 - Application of Body Language (1)

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 18 - Application of Body Language (2)

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 19 - Listening Carefully (1)

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 20 - Listening Carefully (2)

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 21- New Questions

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 22 - Duration

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 23 - Arguments with the Narrator

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 24 - Mental Stimulation



 
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