How to organize and conduct oral history interviews
Oral history interviewing is one more tool in the larger repertoire of methodologies used for research in history, anthropology, and folklore. Oral history collects information about the past from observers and participants in that past. It gathers data not available in written records about events, people, decisions, and processes. Oral history interviews are grounded in memory, and memory is a subjective instrument for recording the past, always shaped by the present moment and the individual psyche. Oral history can reveal how individual values and actions shaped the past, and how the past shapes present-day values and actions.
Every interviewing experience is unique; this is part of the charm of fieldwork. So while there is some validity in the adage, "The only way to learn how to do it is to do it," there are things you can do before, during, and after your interview to make every interview more successful.