03:43 AM

Oral History – The easiest, most rewarding way to finish a life story


The magic of oral history is alive and well in this day and age of immediate gratification and the video craze. So, why do oral history? We have four simple, yet vital reasons to set a date to get started today.

1. It’s Simple. Oral history interviews don’t require fancy set-ups and backdrops. All you need is a small digital recorder or your phone and a quiet spot.

2. Oral history is the easiest, most enjoyable way to finish a life story. The act of doing interviews feels warm and rewarding, not like an obligation that needs to be crossed off the list or a burden to finish, but instead it is a rich experience that bonds the teller with listener. 

3. It paints a picture like nothing else. "Interviewers are able to ask questions left out of other records and to interview people whose stories have been untold or forgotten. At times, an interview may serve as the only source of information available about a certain place, event, or person." (Baylor University study).

4. Oral history interviews jog your memory. It seems that oral history interviews jog the memory in the same type of way music does. Certain questions can take us back in time to place we love to remember or even a memory that may have seemed hard at that time but now we can see what we have learned and are able to share it.