Preserve the Past

You've just gone to the trouble to record an oral history. These few post-interview steps can help you save what you have done.

How to Index:

Make a list of important topics covered right after the interview while the information is fresh.

Use a digital counter or stopwatch to record where certain topics are covered.

A good rule of thumb is to have a topic listed for each five minutes at least.

Index as much as possible.

How to Transcribe:

Remember that transcribing is tedious, but once it is done it is invaluable.

Record every word exactly, including pauses and throat clearings.

Use a specific format and stick to it throughout your project. (Chicago Manual of Style or Baylor Guidelines for example).

colvin "[I was] driving along the country somewhere and ... these German [soldiers] come out of the woods with their hands up. They were hungry and cold and wanting something to eat. You had maybe five or six of them on your jeep and right here at your side you've got a gun.They could have taken care of me right easy. But they weren't interested in that. They wanted to get something to eat"..............William Colvin.



Preparation Recording Equipment Interviewing techniques After the Interview