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Living History Project

Instructions for Interviewing

  1. Select a role model/hero and ask to interview him or her. Express interest in learning about his/her life and explain the class project. If asked, tell the interviewee that he may choose not to answer some of the questions. You will be flexible, but are most interested in learning the story of his/her life. Arrange for a specific time and place for the interview.
  2. Check Tips for Interviewers from University of California, Berkeley for information on conducting the interview.
  3. Check Folklife and Fieldwork: A Layman's Introduction to Field Techniques from the American Folklife Center for tips on recording, equipment, and photography.
  4. Leave blank tape at the beginning and end of the cassette and announce the date, location, and persons present by speaking directly into the tape at the start of the recording session.
  5. If your interviewee does not want to answer a particular question, don't insist.
  6. If you are interested and intrigued with something your interviewee is discussing, continue the conversation.
  7. If you don't complete all of the questions, don't worry. Get through as many as possible. You are looking for quality information more than quantity.
  8. You may tape or video your interview, but you must type it also. Include the questions.
  9. Take a photograph of the person in their normal surroundings, such as their home or work place.