Monday, April 11, 2005

Oral History Association

Any ufologist serious about oral history should begin their preparation with the website of the Oral History Association at:

The website contains much of what an oral historian or researcher needs to know before heading out into the field, in a format that is easy to read and understand. For example:

"Technique and Adaptive Skills

1. In what ways does the interview show that the interviewer has used skills appropriate to: the interviewee's condition (health, memory, metal alertness, ability to communicate, time schedule, etc.) and the interview location and conditions (disruptions and interruptions, equipment problems, extraneous participants, background noises, etc.)?

2. What evidence is there that the interviewer has: thoroughly explored pertinent lines of thought? followed up on significant clues? Made an effort to identify sources of information? Employed critical challenges when needed? Thoroughly explored the potential of the visual environment, if videotaped?

3. Has the progam/project used recording equipment and media that are appropriate for the purposes of the work and potential nonprint as well as print uses of the material? Are the recordings of the highest appropriate technical quality? How could they be improved?
If videotaped, are lighting, composition, camera work, and sound of the highest appropriate technical quality?

4. In the balance between content and technical quality, is the technical quality good without subordinating the interview process?"

These are the kinds of questions that ufologists HAVE to ask themselves before and after conducting interviews.

Paul Kimball

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