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Oral History Projects

Pre-Interviews

All proposed oral history projects intended for donation to Mudd Library should be discussed well in advance with a Mudd Library staff member (mudd@princeton.edu). After consulting with a staff member, please complete the Oral History Project Statement, which will outline the parameters of your project.


Interviews

Recording

The interview(s) should be conducted in a quiet room with minimal background noise and possible distractions. We recommend using two pieces of recording equipment during the interviews to ensure that the audio and/or video is captured. The interviewer should record a "lead" at the beginning of each session that consists of the names of the interviewer and interviewee, date of the interview (full month/day/year), interview's location, and proposed subject of the recording or name of the oral history project.

Release Forms

The interviewer should secure a release form, by which the interviewee transfers his or her rights to the interview to Princeton University. The standard release form provided by Mudd Library should be signed at the end of the interview or at the end of the last recording session if the interview takes place over multiple days. There is also a release form that the interviewers will be asked to sign and return.

Preferred File Formats

  • For audio files, .wav or .mp3 files are preferred
  • For video files, .mp4 files are preferred
  • If you are providing transcripts, any widely-used text format is acceptable for rough transcripts, but .pdf files are preferred for final, edited transcripts.

Please make sure that all audio and/or video file names (and text files of transcripts, if applicable) include the name of the interviewee (for example, Smith_John.wav, or, if an interview is divided into several parts, Smith_John_part_1.mp3, Smith_John_part_2.mp3)

Transferring Files

Transfer of files through Google Drive is strongly preferred; however, you may also submit files on physical storage media if necessary. All storage media should be clearly labeled with the name of the oral history project, and if the files are stored on several different storage media, each disk, DVD, etc. should also be labeled with the names of the interviewee(s).


Post-Interviews

We prefer to receive all release forms and audio and/or video files (and transcripts, if applicable) together at the conclusion of the project. You may submit materials periodically if that is more convenient, but please notify us when the project is entirely complete and all materials have been transferred. Please transfer materials to Mudd Library via the method(s) you select on the Oral History Project Statement form.