Houston Neighborhood Series - Information for Interviewers

Thanks so much for your interest in being an interviewer for the Neighbor to Neighbor Oral History Project for Houston Arts and Media. We think that this will be a valuable resource for researching Houston history for generations to come. Of course, some of the material you gather will also be used in the more than two dozen Houston history book projects we have planned for the next several years.

Guidelines:

  • We are asking interviewers to start with no more than six people whom you think will be wonderful storytellers about the history of their community and of Houston in general.
  • We ask that you use a digital recorder that allows you to download files to a computer.
  • Don't forget to ask about photographs or other visual items that would make good illustrations for these books. We will request a scanned copy of the photo at a later time, or will arrange an appointment to go scan them ourselves.
  • You will need to have each interviewee sign a release form. We will send you a copy of this form, or you can download one here. Also included is a page explaining the Neighbor to Neighbor project and the purpose of Houston Arts and Media that you can leave with each interviewee.

Interview Release Form (pdf file)
Interview Leave Behind (pdf file)

Further Guidelines (pdf file)
Interview Questions and Suggestions (pdf file)
Photo Release Form (pdf file)

If you don't have it already, click below to get Adobe Reader.




Suggestions on Where to Locate Good Interviewees:

We are looking for good storytellers above all. The interview subjects should be longtime Houstonians who have a deep knowledge of the older areas of Houston outlined in our Houston Neighborhood Series map. We need interviewees from each of the neighborhoods shown there, so all volunteer interviewers and interviewees will be helping greatly. There is no hard and fast rule, but for these purposes we are considering "history" as about the year 1970 and before.

Here are some ideas of where you might find good interviewees:

  • Personal Knowledge (Friends, Family, Acquaintances)
    Churches
  • Civic and Homeowners Associations
  • Senior Centers
  • Assisted Living and Nursing Homes
  • Service Organizations (Lions, Rotary, American Legion, Kiwanas, etc.)
  • Country Clubs
  • School Alumni Organizations
  • Neighborhood Small Businesses Known to be Long Standing

Sample Interviews:

If you're not sure how to start an interview, we've posted several clips of interviews with a wide variety of subjects. Easy storytellers, and people who you have to work a little harder to get stories from. You're going to find a little of each when you go out there, but you will enjoy talking to everyone.

Another Resource:

We highly recommend the Texas Historical Commission's brochure on gathering oral history.

Thanks again for taking the time to be a part of the Neighbor to Neighbor Oral History Project...

Projects of friends:
Frost Town Historic Site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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