Must & Must Not(s) in Expert Evaluation

Hamid Qazvini
Translated by Natalie Haghverdian


Usually, in any oral history project, interviewing is evaluated before the final text is formulated. At this stage, managers or project experts have seen the interview and evaluated it.

The following are methods of interview expert evaluation:

  1. In addition to scientific nobility on the subject, the expert must have a good understanding of the oral history interview and its characteristics. Otherwise, why some of the questions and techniques used in the interview will not be known and will result in faulty evaluation. The expert should appreciate that the text is not final, and until the release, it will encounter information and reformation. Unfortunately, there are cases in which the expert, due to lack of knowledge and competence in oral history methodology, conducts a faulty evaluation and exposes the project to complications.
  2. One of the tasks of the expert is to determine the degree of loyalty of the text to the main subject and to have a logical cognition of the relevance of the sub-topics to the main subject. There are many experts who focus on the main subject, and consider the sub-topics to be irrelevant. For example, if the narrator, in expressing political memoirs, refers to the cultural and social background of his city, the experts consider such discussion to be irrelevant to the subject matter. While any political activity is formed in a cultural and social context and is not strange to the process of struggle.
  3. Sometimes, during an interviews, questions and answers are repeated, and some experts view it as a weakness, while the interviewer's goal is to achieve a more complete answer by repetitions.
  4. Each narrative is associated with some analyzes, which in a way demonstrates the narrator's view and attitude to various historical phenomena. The insistence of experts on recording memories without any analysis is not always possible.
  5. Exaggerations and contradictions in the memoirs are common and do not necessarily reflect untruthfulness of the narration. The expert must acknowledge it and do not consider it a catastrophe. These matters can be corrected through research and dialogue with the narrator and the constructive interaction with them.
  6. The essence of oral history is in the plurality and diversity of narratives and differences, and sometimes in contradictions. The experts shall not worry and expect the production of a narrative consistent with the previous narratives or in accordance with the written literature.
  7. In text evaluation, the experts must put their personal tastes and political and party and even organizational affiliations aside and focus on the historical truth and narration accuracy. Unfortunately, in many cases, there are experts who try to impose their personal, political, and sometimes organizational point of views on the interview and hinder the freedom of the interviewer. In the long term, in spite of all costs and efforts, such impositions will affect the credibility of the materials produced and lead the researchers to other sources.


Number of Visits: 183


Full Name:
"Application of Oral History in Video Documentation" Workshop

Oral history does not produce a document, it produces a documentary

According to the Oral History website of Iran, a one-day workshop on "The Application of Oral History in Video Documentation" was held on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 by Dr. Morteza Nouraei, a professor at the University of Isfahan, and the efforts of Assarkhaneh Shahi Museum (Isfahan Community Studies Center) for interested beneficiaries. A compilation of the discussions is presented below.

Memory Night of Dibaj

The town of Dibaj is located 50 kilometers north of Damghan in the path of Geloogah. It is formerly called Chahrdah (fourteen). The town has been formed from three districts of Ghaleh, Varzan and Zardouan which are connected together. When we headed for Dibaj on Thursday 7th of February 2019 to hold the ceremony of Memory Night and unveil the book “To Paradise”, the ways of the towns alleys and streets were covered with snow and ice.

Contemporaneity of Oral History Conference and Awarding Prize of the Best Sacred Defense Book

The closing ceremony of eighteenth period of selecting the best book of Holy Defense will be held on March 03, 2019, coincident with the second National Conference on Oral History of Holy Defense. As reported by Iranian Oral History Website, according to plans of managers of the Foundation for Preservation of Relics and Publishing Values of Holy Defense, the 2nd National Conference on Oral Defense of Holy Defense and the closing of ...
299th session of Memory Night -1

One Nation, One Leader and A Great Movement

According to Iranian Oral History Website, 299th session of memory night of the sacred defense was held in Sooreh Hall of Hozeh Honari on Thursday, January 24, 2019. In this program, Ali Danesh Monfared, Ibrahim Etesam and Hojatoleslam Mohammad Jamshidi spoke about their memories of the struggle for victory of Islamic Revolution and captivity in prisons of Iraqi Baath regime.