Using my twenty-plus years of experience in oral history work, I can work with you to customize a program to fit your specific needs.  

Oral history is all about giving people a voice. That’s why I love working with people who want to document community or family history this way. I enjoy empowering communities by helping them envision, organize, and carry out their projects. For me, it’s not about telling them what to do–it’s about helping them figure out how to make their vision come to fruition. I’ve crafted many different kinds of workshops, all of which can be tweaked to fit the needs of a specific project.

Here’s a sampling of possible workshop topics:

Project Organization and Initiation:  One of the most important elements of a successful project is the proper set-up. I can help you initiate and organize your oral history project, advising you on matters such as coordination and logistics, equipment, coming up with interview topics and questions, interviewing, and choosing/working with an archive.

Interviewing: Good interviews empower everyone involved: the speaker, the interviewer, and those who listen to the recordings. I have years of experience training  diverse audiences, from high school students to seniors. I teach the basics of fieldwork, including the use of digital recorders, creating release forms and tape logs, making initial contact with interviewees, choosing interview sites, troubleshooting, writing thank-you notes for interviews, and the proper documentation for putting recordings in an archive. I can also take you beyond the basics, making suggestions about creative uses for the body of interviews–artistic ways to make this community documentation work public and to generate public interest in your community’s cultural heritage.

Choosing and Working with a Repository: I have worked with a number of archives and can help you or your organization choose an appropriate repository for your collection. Putting your recordings, photos, and documents in an archive means that they are protected and preserved. It also ensures that they will be readily available to those who might find them useful or interesting. If you are trying to choose an appropriate repository for your collection, I can help with that, too.

Contact me at katie@appalworks.com to ask for a project quote or for more information.