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Oral History Interview Process

After the Executive Board of the Emeriti Society has selected a candidate for an oral history interview, the President of the Emeriti Society sends a letter to the candidate inviting the person to do an oral history interview and explaining the process. Once the candidate has agreed, the President and the candidate, with the approval of the Executive Board, decide on an Interviewer. The President then reports the choice of Interviewer to the Interviewee and the Interviewer and sends the following forms to the Interviewee: Oral History Release Form, the Personal Interview Guide, and the Checklist for Oral Histories.

The assigned Interviewer contacts the Interviewee arranging the date, time and site of the interview. The Interviewer obtains the recording device from the Office of University Archives and reviews the use of the equipment. Before starting the interview, the Interviewer should be sure that the Interviewee has read the Oral History Release Form. The Interviewee should sign the Oral History Release Form at the time of the Interview. The Interviewee has the right to edit the final transcript of the Interview or to delegate the editing of the Interview and should indicate his or her choice at the interview. The Interviewee and the Interviewer should select a photo to be used when the final Interview is posted.

Once the interview has been recorded, the Interviewer returns the recording media, recording device, and completed documents to the University Archives.

Then the staff of the University Special Collections transcribes the recording. The Interviewer then edits this first written draft of the interview. The Interviewer also completes the Worksheet for Oral History and delivers it to the University Archives. This edited draft may then be re-edited by the Interviewee to produce a final draft or the Interviewee may simply approve the draft edited by the Interviewer. The final draft of the transcription is filed with the office of the Holt-Atherton Special Collections. The Interviewer delivers the photo to be used.  The written draft of the interview and a picture of the Interviewee is sent on to be placed online by the Holt-Atherton Special Collections website.

For a copy of any forms and worksheets please contact the Holt-Atherton Special Collections.