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Creating Oral Histories

This guide offers general tips and resources for those interested in undertaking oral history projects

Interview Questions

Below are questions in no particular order, but a starting point to think about other questions you may have.  You can adapt and modify them based on the individual's background and interests and the goal of the interview. Be open to following up on their responses to explore their perspectives further and delve deeper into their experiences. Refer back to your main thesis or goal of your oral history to help guide you. 

  1. Can you please introduce yourself and provide some background information about your early life, such as where and when you were born, and your family background?

  2. What was your educational journey like? Can you talk about your experiences in school and any influential teachers or mentors you had?

  3. How did you choose your career path or profession? What led you to pursue your current occupation or field of work?

  4. Can you describe your work or professional experiences? What were your roles and responsibilities, and what were some of the most rewarding or challenging aspects of your work?

  5. Do you have any particular achievements or milestones in your career that you are proud of? Can you share the story behind one of those accomplishments?

  6. Can you recall any major historical events or moments that had a significant impact on your life? How did these events shape your worldview or perspective?

  7. Are there any specific cultural or societal changes that you have witnessed throughout your life? How do you think these changes have affected your community or society as a whole?

  8. Can you share any stories or anecdotes from your personal life that you feel are important or representative of who you are as a person?

  9. Are there any particular challenges or obstacles you have faced in your life? How did you overcome them, and what did you learn from those experiences?

  10. What are some of the values or life lessons that you hold dear? How have these principles guided you throughout your life?

  11. Are there any hobbies, interests, or passions that have brought you joy or fulfillment? How have these pursuits influenced your life or helped you navigate challenges?

  12. How do you envision the future? What are your hopes, dreams, or concerns for future generations?

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