Oral History Interviewer Resources

beginning your oral history project

Use these resources to design and execute your oral history project. 

  • 10 Tips for Interviewers. This list includes important things to remember and apply to help create a successful oral history.

  • A Practical Guide to Oral History. This guide, created by the Southern Oral History Program, contains useful information and a variety of useful resources for anyone conducting an oral history, including helpful tips and examples of interview documents.

  • The Rough Guide to the Zoom H4N Recorder*. This document serves as a general overview of how to operate the recorder
  • Oral History Example 1. Interview with Barbara Anne Grenne by Jessie Wilkerson. May 8 2011 U-0537, in the Southern Oral History Program Collection #4007, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  
  • COHP Interview Questions. This document includes five questions that the Town would like all Carrboro Oral History Project (COHP) interviewers to ask during their interviews.

Sample Forms

  • Writing Abstracts for SOHP Interviews. This document provides general guideline for constructing an abstract and includes helpful information to keep in mind when drafting. 
  • The SOHP Forms contain the necessary documents you and the interviewee should complete for the interview. It includes the Consent form (no restrictions) and Deed of Gift (with restrictions); the interviewee will sign only one of these forms. Both the interviewer and the interviewee should also receive a copy of the form.  Additionally, this document contains the Interviewee Life History Form, which can be supplemented with a resume or CV.

  • Interviewers should complete the Proper Word Form if the interviewee references proper nouns or idiomatic phrases that a transcriber may have difficulty spelling or understanding. 
  • Abstract Example 1
  • Abstract Example  2
  • Field Notes Example 1
  • Field Notes Example 2
  • Tape Log Example

These resources were provided by The Southern Oral History Program (SOHP),  the premier collection of research on the history and culture of the American South.  In addition to helpful information, the SOHP has a collection of over 5,000 oral histories that can be found on their website.