Oral History Interview & Importance Part 6

Importance of Pre-interview Data Collection

One of the fundamental requirements of oral history interview is having sufficient information & awareness on the interview content and surrounding aspects. Unfortunately, there have been cases where the interviewer, with the least information, has started the interview and the outcome has been unsuccessful. Such circumstances expose the interview to multiple damages as follows: ...

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 5

Goal Setting

Interview in oral history is a research methodology and like any other scholar method requires a specific target. Remember that recording the memories of people with no specific historiographical target is no oral history. Many institutes or the media attempts to record and publish the memoirs of political and cultural and social activists or army commanders in different formats in commemorations or to honor the name and memory of the activists in any field; however, it is not clear which need of the audience and history such attempts address.

Interviewer & Interviewee in Oral History

Limited number of experienced, knowledgeable and skilled interviewers required impose challenges in conduct of historical studies in the field of oral history. Hence, a selection mechanism shall be defined to conduct interviews with witnesses, agents and stakeholders in intended historical incidents or a limited number of eligible applicants have to be trained. Lack of prioritization and interview of people whose story is no priority by skilled interviewers, results in loss of opportunity to conduct important interviews.

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 4

Narrator Identification & Selection

As discussed before, oral history is a participatory process in history development so that different information concerning political, cultural and social events are recorded and published in a targeted interview. It is important since the perspectives and narrations of a number of people are gathered in recording historical events.

Research & Targeted Questions in Oral History Interviews

Oral history interviews are means of collecting information. It is through interviews that historians in this type of historiography receive information from the interviewee. The interviewees are sources of various types of information; however, the interviewer is interested only in a specific type of data. Hence, the interviewer has to employ systematic strategies to manage and steer the interview.

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 3

Selecting a Subject

Selecting a subject is one of the key steps in oral history interviews. Oral history interviews are either subject or individual based. Naturally, to selecting a subject requires great precision. As it was said before, oral history interviewer shall not only have the spirit of inquiry and research but also have general and technical information on the subject and avoid any bios towards the individual and social and political events in question.

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 2

Characteristics of an Interviewer

Interviewers shall not perceive such activity as an occupation with mere financial objectives. Oral history has to be a cultural and social mission with deep roots in the history and heritage of a society and nation. It is essential for the oral history interviewer to have sufficient knowledge on the subject. Lack of scientific knowledge and information not only hinders his/her understanding of the memoir but also prevents the interviewer from asking the right questions and steering the interview in the right direction.

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 1

Oral History, Path to Cultural Dialogue

Recording memories is a vital endeavor which is called “Oral History” in case conducted through active and targeted interviews. In this method of historiography, isolated and marginalized social groups get involved in record of history and culture and define a new role and status for themselves; hence, oral history is perceived as a demographic method of historiography. In fact, the main and key characteristic of oral history is interaction with communities, groups, ...

Tips on Archiving Family History, Part 3

Readers sent dozens of questions about archiving and preserving family history and stories to Bertram Lyons, an archivist at the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress in Washington.

Oral history and family history - some tips for family historians

How can oral history contribute to family history research? Oral history recordings are a fantastic resource for family historians. Recordings can: • provide wider context about the places where your ancestors lived, the work they did, or local and national events during their lifetimes, bringing color and texture to complement traditional archival sources
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The Anniversary of Takeover of the U.S. Embassy

A Genuine Question

I do not forget the time when the young people had taken over the spy nest and there was a tumult — maybe less than a month had passed — and we had just come from Hajj. Mr. Hashemi, another person and I — whose I do not want to mention his name — went from Tehran to Qom to ask Imam they have finally been caught, what should we do with them now? Should they be kept, not keeping, what should we do?

A Part of Memoirs of a Soldier

The embankment where we were stationed led to the Khorramshahr asphalt road. For this reason, the Iraqis tried hard to recapture it. And finally, near at noon, they were able to settle in the embankment next to the asphalt road and shoot diagonally towards us from there. We had no choice but to retreat. Captain Barati, the battalion commander, ordered two kilometers behind to build an embankment for us to settle there.

Your Problem is Different / You Hinted Not to Hit More

One day, they came to me and said: “We want to take you to the prosecutors office so that the investigator will interrogate you.” We had been famous for the meetings we organized as the Anti-Baha’i Association. At that time, there were many people in Jahrom that worked in different jobs; Among other things, there was a sergeant major in Shahrbani (law enforcement force), who stood guard duty instead of the guard ...

Privacy and Its Niceties in Oral History

Privacy in the process of recording and publishing memories is an issue that has attracted attention of activists in this field and those interested in legal issues in recent years with the expansion of activities of memoirist individuals and groups. Oral history interviews include close and personal relationships between interviewers, narrators and their organizational sponsors. This relationship is important for all groups. Interviewers feel an obligation to the people who have allowed ...