B5: Ordinary Folk - Designing and using oral history

The Ordinary Folk task asks you to interview several people in your local community about their memories of life in the 20th century. Before you do this, you will need to think carefully about which questions you will ask and how best to collect the information. You should plan your questions carefully first. You might decide that you would like to visit people in person and make recordings of your interviews, or you may prefer to invite members of your community to take part in an online survey. Online surveys are very effective for gathering data and analysing responses, but they do not allow much room for people responding to go into any depth about their memories or experiences, so think carefully before you decide which route to take.

A useful tool for creating online surveys can be found at the following website. You will need to sign up for free basic access.

The following links will provide you with some advice on the best way to carry out oral history projects and interviews:

Oral History Pamphlet

Oral History Advice 

The story Vault website will show you some examples of oral histories that have been collected and could provide you with a place to present your findings, depending on which route you choose for gathering your information.

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