- Access to individual experience by hearing first hand accounts of people’s lives and experiences
- Is unique in that it gives us the perspectives of people of difference backgrounds, cultures and religions
- Gives a voice to people who in the past have largely been hidden from mainstream and traditional history.
History is not just about the rich and famous - it belongs to everyone.
Recording Life Histories
Interviews were conducted nearly always in the interviewee's home which not only makes it more relaxing for the interviewee, but being surrounded by familiar things often helps people to remember. A life story approach is followed through the interview - when and where born, family background, childhood, schooldays, leisure, work and retirement up to the present day. This is an approach that has structure but is flexible enough to record the variety of experiences remembered. A life history can take anything from a couple to many hours.
Recording equipment used has changed over the years from open reel tapes to cassettes to the new digital mini-discs and DAT (Digital Audio Tape).
Every interviewee is asked to sign a copyright form giving consent to use the material while stating any restrictions they wish to impost. The recordings are copied, a timed synopsis is made and transcribed, time and finances permitting. Photographs from people's personal albums are collected and copied. The master tapes are archived and stored away while copy tapes are available for public listening. Names and personal data are not usually made available to those listening to tapes.