Getting ready to be interviewed
A guide for interview subjects
An explanation of the purpose of the oral history interview to be given to interview subjects before the interview.
Thank you for helping the Heritage Project save our history. The Heritage Project allows young people to help research and write community, family and individual histories. The materials created in the Project are preserved in local libraries and museums as well as in the Montana Historical Society Library-Archives .
To prepare for the interview, you might spark your memory by reviewing any photographs, letters or newspaper clippings you have saved. You might look at any souvenirs or objects you’ve kept. Please consider bringing photos, medals, uniforms, news clippings, or other souvenirs from the time period.
We are interested in your memories and thoughts about your life experiences, so we would like to hear any stories or details that are important to you. The “official” history of the time period with dates and facts and figures is readily available in many published sources, but your interview will help us to go beyond the official record to get a sense of how things felt and seemed to people such as yourself, who were there.
Of course, you do not have to answer any questions that you do not want to answer. Once the interview is completed, you will be offered a chance to review the transcript to make any corrections or revisions you feel are needed. Once you have reviewed the transcript and signed a release form, a copy of the transcript and tape will be made available to the public for research purposes. You can place restrictions on the material if you choose, such requiring your permission before it is used or specifying that it may not be used for a certain number of years. Such restrictions reduce the value of your story for researchers, so we prefer to avoid them, but this is up to you.
Unless otherwise requested all materials will be made available to the public and covered under standard copyright law. More information about copyrights and restrictions are available upon request from your library or the Montana Historical Society. Most interviews last about an hour.
We are grateful for your willingness to help.