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Bracero Tutorials – Conducting An Oral History Interview



while you probably will be more successful collecting objects than you will be in soliciting interviews here's a short tutorial on collecting oral histories when asking the questions ask one question at a time please do not combine your questions into half Spanish and half English where the transcriber will curse you if the interview is in Spanish please make sure to ask your question in the proper format using the formal usted and not the familiar – please do not repeat the braceros answers chances are we heard them the first time next check the equipment be extremely familiar and comfortable with your equipment before you begin you should know exactly what each button does check the batteries and double-check the equipment before the interview because you do not want to take a valuable interview time figuring it out and practice practice practice let's talk about the interview please arrive on time be sure to notice the noise levels around you once you arrive there should be as little extraneous noise as possible closed doors do not sit in this weak squeaky chair the key to a good interview is to develop trust and a good rapport with the narrator so be friendly and open try to maintain constant eye contact with your interviewee and remember the information given by the interviewee that is most valuable is what he or she has experienced witnessed or felt in connection with events of which he or she has first-hand knowledge tell the interview you Eve that you will be taking notes of names and places he or she mentions during the interview be relaxed and natural as you conduct the interview keep in mind that this is a friendly conversation and a cooperative opportunity for you and the interviewee and be sure to watch body language when crafting your questions start with more impersonal areas of questioning or topics on which the narrator can speak with ease and comfort at first and then move into more sensitive as the interview progresses do not avoid sensitive or controversial subjects a plate neutral stance often works best and please do not interrupt pay close attention to your interviews ease answers if you are receiving broad answers listen for the holes in the information and details that you will want later and did I mention do not interrupt here's your checklist of materials when taking an oral history first you want to have your oral history manual and make sure to use the correct guide and questions next your interview packet which should include the following forms a pre-interview forum image identification form interview consent and release form and the summary interview form check your recording device before the interview be sure to bring extra batteries and check the microphone let's go over the forms in the interview packet first the pre-interview form should be filled out at the town-hall meeting ask the interviewee to fill out the pre-interview form and assist them if necessary determine if they have any documents to be scanned make sure to verify their contact information inform them that someone will be contacting them to schedule an interview in the coming months and please review the pre-interview form before conducting your interview next in the photo ID form make sure to create a new folder on the computer for each interviewee and include all the photos and documents remember all items should be scanned at 600 dots per inch and saved as a JPEG file finally the release form be sure to have the interview sign and date the interview consent form when conducting the interview please remember to record the following introduction this is an interview with insert the interviewees name on the date of the interview in city and state the interviewer is your name the interview is part of the bracero archive project two hours is the maximum time for a productive interview if an interview has gone for more than two hours and is incomplete set up another appointment after completing the actual interview remember don't leave abruptly be sure to have the person you interviewed sign the release form as soon as the interview has ended once the interview ends and your subject has left label each recording disc that contains the interview with the name of the interviewee date of interview and if there are two or more discs please indicate the numerical order of each disc such as disc 1 of 2 of disc 2 of 2 summarize the interview and provide as many details as possible on the topics covered and provide the length of the entire interview place the disk or disks the summary and sign release forms in manila envelope

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

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