Oral history is a method for understanding the past through story-telling.
The purpose of oral history is to collect, preserve, and study first-person accounts to achieve a more nuanced and grounded understanding of history.
The technique of oral history involves recording interviews between an 'investigator' or researcher and a 'subject', interviewee or narrator.
The ECOH Project uses a semi-structured interview format. This means that the researcher will prepare a list of potential questions to elicit stories and reflections from the interviewee. Once the interview is underway, the researcher may depart from the question list in order to encourage the interviewee to provide more detail on a story.
Interviewees are also encouraged to share stories of their own choosing.
An interviewee can also decline to answer any question put forward by the researcher.
Adapted from 'StoryCorps' by Steve Rhodes via flickr under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.