Conduct an Oral History Interview
Special Collections partners with researchers on campus and in the community to conduct oral history interviews on a variety of topics that document Chattanooga, the state of Tennessee, and the South including the history of the University. If you are interesting in collaborating with Special Collections to help preserve local and regional voices with a focused oral history project that connects individual experiences to historical narratives, please contact us as part of your initial planning. We can offer audio recording equipment and organizational support for your project!
View the resources below to help organize your oral history project.
- Oral History Interview Checklist
- Oral History Interview Audio Recording Instructions
- Oral History Interview Field Notes
- Oral History Interview Release
Students, community partners, and volunteers collaborating with Mayor's Council on Women History Subcommittee should use the Telling Herstories: A Guide to Conducting Interviews for the Chattanooga Women's Oral History Project in addition to the field notes and release listed above. To view the processed recordings, please visit our Digital Collections.
Partner with Us
We love working with collaborators to document the incredible stories and experiences of people living in the Chattanooga and Tennessee Valley. View examples of our past and ongoing partnerships below:
- Chattanooga Gun Violence Activism Oral Histories
- Chattanooga Latinx Oral Histories
- Chattanooga Women's Oral Histories
- Great Smoky Mountains Wildfires Oral Histories
- Ralph W. Hood and W. Paul Williamson Holiness Churches of Appalachia Recordings and Interviews
Special Collections collaborates with partners to produce high quality audio recordings that can be maintained in perpetuity. We prefer to work with unedited recordings and footage. Post-processing edits are managed in the Special Collections digitization lab. Recordings must adhere to the minimum technical requirements listed below to be considered for inclusion in the repository. Recordings must also meet the criteria outlined in our Collection Development policy.
- Format: Broadcast WAV
- File extension: .wav
- Bit depth: 24-bit
- Sampling rate: 96 kHz
Special Collections works with partners on a case-by-case basis to consider video recordings. Typically, we prefer audio recordings submitted with a digital image of the interviewee. Preservation standards for audio recordings are well-established in the archival community, whereas standards for video are not as established or predictable.
Boyd, Doug. n.d. “Designing an Oral History Project: Initial Questions to Ask Yourself.” Oral History in the Digital Age (blog). http://ohda.matrix.msu.edu/2012/06/designing-an-oral-history-project/.
Oral History Association. 2009. “Principles for Oral History and Best Practices for Oral History.” oralhistory.org. http://www.oralhistory.org/about/principles-and-practices/.
Samuel Proctor Oral History Program. n.d. “Tutorials: Beginning an Oral History Project.” University of Florida. https://oral.history.ufl.edu/research/tutorials/.