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Oral Histories - Interviewing Relatives and Collecting Oral History

Learn how to conduct a family interview or collect a meaningful oral history. Plus, browse extensive online oral history collections, get help from various oral history associations, and find groups which collect and preserve oral histories.

Oral Histories Online
Fascinating interviews, stories, photos, and other oral histories are available online from a number of different sources. Even if you aren't lucky enough to find your ancestor's history preserved online, you can learn a lot about them by reading oral histories of their contemporaries - neighbors, people from the same ethnic community, individuals who had similiar experiences (e.g. same Japanese …

Oral Histories & Narratives of US Veterans
Learn about the personal experiences and memories of U.S. Veterans in the online digital collections of these oral history projects, programs and collections dedicated to recording and preserving the experiences of veterans and civilians in the United States from the Civil War, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and the Persian Gulf.

Top 6 Tips for Great Interview Stories
The best interview should be a conversation or storytelling session, rather than a Q&A. This can be especially difficult when the interview makes your storyteller uncomfortable, such as when it is being recorded. The next time you're conducting an oral history interview, try these tips for making the conversation flow.

Oral History Step-by-Step
oral history

Fifty Questions for Family Interviews
What to ask when you get a chance to quiz your relatives...

How To Interview A Relative
Getting people to share their stories isn't always easy. Follow these step-by-step ideas for a successful family history interview!

Top Books for Journaling and Preserving Family Memories
When tracing your family's history it is important to remember the importance of preserving not only the stories of the past, but also the stories of the living. Encourage your family members to record their memories for posterity with one of these wonderful, journal-type books full of thought-provoking questions and space for recording the sure-to-be-cherished answers.

Conducting Effective Oral Interviews
Tips for taking a successful oral history, from OnBoard, Volume 2, Number 3, the newsletter of the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

Capturing the Past
A four step series on how to prepare and conduct an oral history interview from KBYU television, Brigham Young University.

Association of Personal Historians
Feature articles, memory sparks, and a bulletin board to help folks recording personal or family history.

Get Nosy with Aunt Rosie
How to conduct an oral history interview, from Genealogy.com.

Family Folklore - A Questionnaire
An outstanding list of sample questions geared toward learning more about the traditions, stories and folklore which have been handed down in your family. From the Migrations in History project of the Smithsonian Institution.

The Importance of Oral Histories
Lyman D. Platt, Ph.D., explains what types of information oral histories can reveal and how to get started creating your own.

Guide for Interviewing Family Members
Questions collected from various sources by genealogist, Dick Eastman.

How to Collect Your Own Family Folklore
An excellent guide from the Smithsonian Office of Folklife Programs.

Oral History Interview, Questions and Topics
A list of ninety questions, courtesy of the Jewish Genealogical Society.

Oral History Primer
Courtesy of University of California, Santa Cruz.

Oral History Questions
Ask yourself or your family personal questions from this extensive list courtesy of RootsWeb.com.

Organizing Oral History Information
Learn what to do with those great stories, from Genealogy.com.

Resources for Planning & Conducting Oral History Interviews
Find interview tips, how-tos, worksheets, and questions, courtesy of the Southern Oral History Program, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Script for Video or Audio Interviews with Family Members
Courtesy of USGenWeb.

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