Capturing Oral Histories

One of the main goals of the NNDPA is to encourage members, friends and associates in capturing oral histories of those individuals who worked in one of the various New Deal projects between 1933-43. We particularly hope that teachers will encourage projects that focus on capturing oral histories from this part of our quickly vanishing society. Their stories of hardship given hope through hard work that saved the individuals, the families and the nation are a critical part of who we are based on our ancestor’s experiences.

Forms for your use

We are providing here some suggested forms and information that can be used to carry out oral histories. These are by no means the only ones but rather something that can be used or variations of same be used to fit the individual project/s. These forms were developed and made available to us by the SOUTHWEST CENTER OF SOUTHWEST STUDIES, which is part of the FORT LEWIS COLLEGE in Durango, Co. They are located at 1000 Rim Dr., Durango, CO 81301 and can also be reached at 970-247-7456 or fax at 970-247-7422.
There is a National Oral History Association with chapters around the country. Check with local libraries to determine contact person for your own state chapter.


NNDPA would like to receive copies of any New Deal related Oral Histories that are taken by any individual or group. We anticipate that such documents will be archived at a major repository with a focus that is related to the New Deal. Arrangements are currently underway to contract with such a facility. We would encourage local copies be likewise placed in appropriate and easily accessible public repositories in your geographic area.

Exisiting Oral Histories

Our organization is most interested in finding repositories where existing oral histories taken from New Deal participants in any of the projects have been collected and stored. If you are aware of such collections, please complete the REPOSITORY  and email:, call: 505-473-3985 or mail it to our office: NNDPA PO Box 602 Santa Fe, NM 87504.

Suggested Reference Source:

Ritchie, Donald A. Doing Oral History by Donald A. Ritchie (New York: Twayne Publishers, 1995). ISBN 0-8057-9124-8 (hardcover) or 0-8057-9128-0 (paperback). 265 pages. Available from the Society of American Archivists. Non-members $27.50 · SAA members $22.50. “Practical advice and reasonable explanations for anyone starting an oral history project, conducting interviews, using oral history in research and writing, videotaping oral history, preserving oral history in archives and libraries, teaching oral history, or presenting oral history. Sample legal release forms, bibliography, and index.”
“Oral History and the Law” by John A. Neuenschwander, 1993. Second edition, revised and enlarged. Paper. 53 pages. Indexed. Available for $8.00 from the Oral History Association.

If you find that you are having trouble opening the PDFs you may need to download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader – click here to download.

Oral History Forms

1 Release Form Agreement

2 Biographical Questionnaire Form

3 Interview Guidelines

4 Tape Introduction Text Format

5 Interview Abstract Form

6 Pre-Interview Checklist

7 Interview Transcription Guidelines

8 Interview Transcription Checklist

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