How to Preserve an Oral Heirloom


Preserving Your Recordings
Don't put all your digital eggs in one basket. Make plenty of copies and be sure to store them separately.
Don't put all your digital eggs in one basket. Make plenty of copies and be sure to store them separately.
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You should, as a rule, have three digital copies of your project. In addition to the original interview, create a master copy that can be used for duplication, as well as several duplicate recordings. Store a few and share the rest.

Remember that digital technology is always evolving. You may have the most up-to-date equipment today, but there will probably be a game-changer invented tomorrow -- or in the next few years, certainly. As newer generations come to light, you may need to convert your interview to those formats.

Refreshing the interview using new technology extends its life. However, it's also a good idea to have a paper transcript, but only if it is acid-free paper. Pay attention, too, to the storage environment. As a general rule, too much of anything is bad for your oral heirloom. So keep it out of the sun, away from heat or cold extremes and protected from water and humidity.

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Sources

  • American Social History Project. "What is Oral History?" (Aug. 6, 2010).
  • HistoryMatters.gmu.edu.http://historymatters.gmu.edu/mse/oral/what.html
  • Boyd, Doug. "Digital Audio and Portable Recorders: The Basics." (Aug. 6, 2010).http://www.oralhistory.org/technology/audio_basics/
  • Houston Oral History Project. "How to Create an Oral History of Your Own." (Aug. 5, 2010).http://www.houstonoralhistory.org/create.html
  • Hunt, Marjorie. "The Smithsonian Folklife and Oral History Interviewing Guide." 2003. (Aug. 5, 2010).http://www.folklife.si.edu/education_exhibits/resources/guide/introduction.aspx
  • Moyer, Judith. "Step-by-Step Guide to Oral History." 1999. (Aug. 5, 2010).http://dohistory.org/on_your_own/toolkit/oralHistory.html
  • Oral History Association. "Oral History." (Aug. 7, 2010).http://www.oralhistory.org/do-oral-history/
  • Ritchie, Donald. "Doing Oral History: A Practical Guide." Aug. 7, 2003, Oxford Press.
  • The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "Oral History." (Aug. 6, 2010).http://www.unc.edu/depts/wcweb/handouts/oral_history.html

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