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Reviving the Past: Creating an Institutional Oral History Collection Reviving the Past: Creating an Institutional Oral History Collection Colleen Kenefick.

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Presentation on theme: "Reviving the Past: Creating an Institutional Oral History Collection Reviving the Past: Creating an Institutional Oral History Collection Colleen Kenefick."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reviving the Past: Creating an Institutional Oral History Collection Reviving the Past: Creating an Institutional Oral History Collection Colleen Kenefick & Susan E. Werner Center for Healthcare Informatics Education Health Sciences Library Stony Brook University, NY Fundamentals Lessons Learned Use a reputable oral history project manual, such as the Medical Library Association Oral History Project Manual, 6 th Revised Edition, Receive institutional support before beginning any project. Identify goals and objectives and create a timetable. Decide on possible candidates who have made significant contributions. Send a consent form to the interviewee along with the formal letter of invitation. Request a CV from the interviewee to assist in formulating specific questions. After initial contact, allow interviewee sufficient time to prepare for the interview. Be familiar with your two tape recorders and other equipment. Include a standard introduction for each interview with names, dates, and locations of interview. Open each interview with words of gratitude and interest in the value this interviewee will provide to the project. Use open ended and single-point questions. Questions with multiple parts lead to confusion and increase chance of not being fully answered. Rephrase questions that are not understood or go on to related questions. Allow ample time to transcribe tapes. Send transcripts to interviewee to review and offer opportunity to make corrections, additions or deletions. Have interviewee sign a detailed institutional consent form that describes rights, and any time or usage restrictions. Discuss entire project with institutional legal counsel regarding access, dissemination, and other liability issues. Not everyone will agree to be interviewed. Prepare a standard list of questions for all interviews. Dont underestimate the time involved in completing an oral history, each hour of interview requires at least 10 hours of effort. Dont use 90 or 120-minute tapes, which are easily distorted and break easily during transcription. Use a good quality 60-minute tape. Dont ask leading questions. Dont comment, censor, or argue with your interviewee. Dont interrupt unless its absolutely essential. Pay attention to interviewees answers, so you may respond with appropriate follow-up questions. Dont exhaust the interviewee, take a break every hour or so. Be consistent in requesting clarification of names, dates, and events when sending the printed transcript to interviewees. Complete work on one interview before beginning the next. Dont forget to send a thank you note to the interviewee. Not everyone will produce an interesting interview. Project Details In 1966, a facilities plan was developed by New York State for creating an academic medical center on Long Island. The first 24 medical students were accepted at Stony Brook in 1972 to a three-year program, with PhD and residency programs starting in A 504-bed University Hospital opened in 1980 that is the training ground for academic programs in five schools. Being a young institution, many of the founding administrators and faculty in all five schools have only recently retired or still remain in the area. Beginning in 2002, Dr. Leon Sokoloff began an oral history series of these early leaders following standard oral history protocols. This project is made available and archived in the library in print format and is one of the only repositories of institutional memory. Librarians are still conducting, transcribing, and editing transcripts and to date 33 oral histories have been completed.


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