Recording and Storage of Oral History Interviews

Recording and Storage of Oral History Interviews

1. Introduction

The following is intended to offer practical guidance for choosing equipment for recording and storing interviews, from a data management and preservation perspective. It also discusses the pros and cons of choosing video or audio for recording interviews. However, it will not go into detail about makes and models (especially as these are always changing), or recording interviews that are not directly concerned with data management.

  • When preparing for an oral history project, do your homework to find out what is currently regarded by professionals as best practice - this is a constantly changing area and advice can rapidly go out of date.

  • Avoid false economies: invest in the best equipment you can afford. Again, do some research before making expensive purchases: read online reviews and check technical specifications against the needs of your project.

  • During (and after) projects, think of data storage practice as a process - data will need to be checked at intervals; no storage equipment is permanent; be prepared to make multiple copies of data for different purposes and over time.