With the holidays upon us, here are some tips for interviewing relatives for family history, courtesy of the Society of California Archivists with a bit of my own experience mixed in.
1. Planning the Interview
Place the recorder where you can see it, but where it is out of the line of sight of your narrator.
Work from an outline of major topics with prepared questions for each topic. In general, a chronological organization is best, because it can show how their ideas and experiences have developed over time. Make a list of the specific dates and places of events missing in your family tree.
Interview and record in a quiet place! Close windows and doors to avoid traffic noises, put pets outside, silence all phones.
Do a brief test recording with the interviewee at the interview location and play it back immediately to make sure the equipment is working and […]