Why Is my story important?
Everyone's story is important because everyone is unique. History is much more than a record of mainstream recorded events.
Do I have to prepare for my interview?
Nothing onerous but it's extremely helpful to think about what you want recorded beforehand. We have a questionnaire that will help you think about what you want to say.
What do you mean by pre interview research?
Remind yourself about dates, names, places, collection of images and documents and think about the events and topics you want recorded in your interview.
Why do you use a digital recorder rather than a tape recorder?
Tape recorders are outdated technology and the hardware is difficult to buy and repair and this makes them an unviable and unreliable way to create and store important documentation such as an oral history recording.
I haven't really kept up to date with digital technology. Are you able to help me with this?
Yes, we are glad to help you and we have easy to follow 'Help Sheets'.
What happens if the recorder breaks down / there is a problem with the recording? Do I have to do the interview again?
We avoid that scenario by always using two digital recording devices.
Why don't you use video recording instead of audio recording?
The cost of video recording can be prohibitive. Audio recording is less intrusive and more intimate for an interview than a camera.
Can you add music to the interview?
Yes, but copyright restrictions may apply.
English is not my/the interviewee's first language. Can I use an interpretor? How else do you cater for this specific need?
Carol has over 25 years' experience as an adult educator specialising in teaching non English speaking background students and is experienced and sensitive to the needs of interviewees who do not have English first language proficiency. As well, History Herstory can accommodate an interpreter. Professional Interpreter services are expensive so you may like to consider asking a friend or family member if you decide to use an interpreter.
May I have someone sit with me while I am interviewed?
Whatever makes you feel comfortable is appropriate. However, I will ask that your comments are not interrupted by your companion.
Can we be interviewed as a couple / partners / in a group?
Yes, I'll organise a system to ensure everyone is able to comment appropriately.
Can I use a pseudynom?
Pseudynoms are used in various situations and if this is your preference History Herstory will abide by your wishes.
If I lose my recording / Life Story Tribute Book / Digital Photo Story am I able to get back-up copies from you?
Yes. Extra copies of CDs /USBs / DVDs / Digital Photo Stories are available for a small charge plus postage. The cost for replacing a Life Story Tribute Book will be the cost charged by Milk Books for producing the book, plus postage.
I don't want anyone other than myself to hear my interview. Can I be assured of this?
Yes, but once the interview is out of our hands and with you it is out of our control.
How long does a recording take?
Each recording session lasts for 2-3 hours. About an hour of interview time is accompanied by the setting and packing up of equipment and most importantly associated pre and post discussion with you about the interview.
What should I do if you ask me a question I don't want to answer and can I ask you not to ask questions on particular topics?
Don't answer the question - say something to the effect, 'I'd prefer not to answer that question'. The question and your response can be edited out if that is your decision. You can specify that particular topics are not included.
What happens if I say something I regret or want removed?
We'll edit it out.
How important is copyright?
Correct copyright is legally essential and mandatory. You own the words you say in your interview and retain copyright of these words. History Herstory may ask you if we can use some of your interview for inclusion in exhibitions such as online events like NSW History Week if something in your oral history is appropriate to the theme and suitable and important for a wider audience. Copyright for images must be cleared and if you want to include music we will assess any copyright restrictions. We will help you with this.
We are doing a family / community / organisational history with numerous interviewees. What happens if we have different views and opinions of what happened in the past?
This is a perfectly normal scenario and one of the strengths of oral history because unique views of what happened are recorded. In the interests of factual representation, authenticity and indisputable information such as dates, names etc recordings can be mapped against indisputable facts.
Our elderly interviewee gets tired very easily? How do you accommodate for specific needs like this?
Every interview is geared towards the individual so we take account of individual needs and circumstances. We are gentle, sensitive and flexible when interviewing elderly interviewees. We can, for example, interview in short sessions at times best suited to the interviewee and over several days.
We want to record an elderly person's life story but sometimes they are forgetful. Can we still go ahead?
Yes. We take account of individual needs and circumstances. We are gentle, understanding and flexible when interviewing elderly interviewees. In our experience elderly interviewees who are sometimes forgetful have very good recall of past events and enjoy immensely the experience of telling their story.
Can I submit my recording to archival organisations?
Yes, History Herstory records in WAV 24 bit 48 kHz so the original unedited version of your interview is recorded at the correct level for Australian archival purposes.
Will my recording be used for research purposes and what do researchers do with the information?
Depending on where you publish or possibly lodge your recording or project you may find researchers want to use the content of your interview to add to our knowledge of History.
Can children be interviewed?
Oral history recordings are generally with interviewees who have life experience to share but depending on the purpose of the interview children can be interviewed. For example, you may want to record the dreams and aspirations of children and teenagers on birthdays or special family occassions. Also, children often have important and significant comments to make depending on their background. For instance, in the Sudanese People in the Sutherland Shire - a Moving Community oral history project interviews with Sudanese children based on two questions were conducted so that they could make a contribution to the project. The comments made by the children are profound and illuminating.
What do we do with photographs and images that are not digital?
We can scan them for you using our portable digital scanner or you can scan them yourself using readily available commercial services or a computer.