Susan Swetnam

Introduction to Oral History

  This presentation (60-90 minutes, depending on audience needs) offers a brief introduction for those interested in gathering oral history.  Basics of technique to be covered include how to conceive and focus a project, how to identify interviewees, how to frame questions, and how to conduct an interview that encourages interviewees to open up.  We’ll also discuss the ethics of oral history, effective use of technology, and things one can do with the information gathered.  A CD player is required to listen to sample interviews; participants should also plan to do hands-on practice work and bring a pencil and a notebook.