The William H. Berge Oral History Center's Navigating Uncertainty: Coronavirus 2020 Oral History Project seeks to capture the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic through a reflective oral history interviewing process. Participants are encouraged to share their experiences during the outbreak by conducting autobiographical or face-to-face interviews with family, friends and loved ones. Participants can still observe social distancing guidelines and stay safe by conducting phone or other safe interviewing methods, which can include web conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts Meet. To alleviate potential storage capacity concerns in the Berge Center, please record only the audio from a video meeting session rather than the combined audio and video. For those who are in close proximity to the person being interviewed, mobile recording applications such as the iOS Voice Memos or Android's Voice Recorder can be used. For complete details on how to donate your interviews to the Berge Center, or, if technology or oral history methods questions arise, please contact EKU's Oral Historian Neil Kasiak at 859-622-2820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below you will find a variety of resources that will prove useful for learning the craft of oral history interviewing. Each resource follows similar best standards and practices, though there are some slight variations when conducting folklife studies. Although there is not a single or perfect guide, there are “Dos and Don'ts” that should be followed. Following the stated rules and suggestions will help you become more comfortable with the process and result in high quality interviews. To hone your oral history skills, you are encouraged to compare and contrast these resources with other available online sources. Don’t hesitate in contacting EKU Oral Historian Neil Kasiak (859-622-2820 or email@example.com) if you have any questions or would like additional training or advice.
The following list of questions will provide a good starting point for conducting a Navigating Uncertainty interview. The prepared list is by no means exhaustive and participants are encouraged to ask questions or cover topics that are unique to individual experiences. For instance, a healthcare worker will have a very different perspective than a construction worker, student, or teacher. The proposed questions will assist in exploring these varied experiences. Additionally, follow up questions to complement those listed below will provide additional context and help capture a more complete narrative.
(The above helpful tips were adapted from a guide that was produced by the Minnesota Historical Society: see http://www.mnhs.org/collections/oralhistory/ohguidelines.pdf)