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Oral History Interviews Guide

This guide offers resources, samples, best practices, and other useful information for conducting oral history interviews at the College of William and Mary.


Welcome to the Oral History Guide from Swem Library

This guide is available to assist William & Mary students, faculty, and staff who are planning or currently conducting oral history interviews. It is very much a work in-progress and have plans to add further information on an ongoing basis, but we encourage you to have a look around and share suggestions for resources to add here or questions you would appreciate this guide answering. We can be reached via email (contact information is to the right) or comment on any box in this guide. Thank you for your interest!

All members of the William & Mary community should be aware of federal and institutional compliance requirements and adhere to established best practices when conducting oral history interviews whether for a personal research project or as part of an established oral history program. The Oral History Association's Principles and Best Practices for Oral History should be reviewed in advance of preparing for and conducting interviews. The principles and best practices are summaries of the organization’s most important principles and best practices for the pre-interview preparation, the conduct of the interview, and the preservation and use of oral histories. Those documents are not an inclusive primer on oral history.

For any writing project, we also suggest you review the Copyright Guide and Research Paper Writing & Citation Guide.