Oral History

The stories people tell about their lives are filled with valuable knowledge about who we are and how we got here. Know History works with communities and institutions to preserve these memories by conducting oral history interviews. Our associates design and conduct interviews with community members, and record the interviews using state-of-the-art audio and video technology. These interviews are then transcribed and stored for future generations.

Experienced, respectful interviewers

Know History has conducted hundreds of oral history interviews and is an expert in this field. From pre-interview to post-interview and presentation, our associates approach this work with skill and professionalism. This means building trust and meaningful relationships with our clients and their communities before interviews begin. We take seriously the responsibility involved with collecting and sharing peoples’ stories and approach this work with integrity and respect.

Whether we are conducting five interviews or 50, we follow rigorous standards and best practices. Our associates come thoroughly prepared for every interview, taking the time to understand our host communities and plan thoughtful, carefully researched questions. Our interview process prioritizes and is guided by the consent and comfort of our interviewees.

High-quality digital records that will last for generations

In post-production, skilled associates transcribe interviews using advanced digital technology. Transcripts pass through quality assurance to guarantee accurate, usable sources. We process audio-visual material to produce high-quality audio and video recordings that our clients can utilize for diverse purposes.

The same standards we apply at every stage of the interview process are upheld in the presentation stage. Once completed, oral histories and the stories they document can be used for a variety of purposes. They can be shared in audio, visual, or written form in documentaries, museum exhibitions, and community history books. They are critical sources in research projects, traditional knowledge and land use studies, and environmental assessments. Information can be digitally mapped to illustrate land use and settlement patterns. No matter how oral histories are shared, Know History strives to present them in a way that is authentic and responsible.

Services Provided

  • Question planning
  • Multi-lingual interviews
  • Transcription
  • Historical archival and image research
  • Oral history workshops
  • High quality audio and video recording

Image Credit: Canada Department of Manpower and Immigration / Library and Archives Canada / e010982334.