CSHM Oral History Interview Forms
As a research center under the auspices of Indiana University, the Center for the Study of History and Memory complies with the protocols of the IU Human Subjects Committee in each of its projects. Institutional Review Board clearance for qualitative human subjects research such as conducting oral history interviews varies from one university to the next, so it is important for researchers to know the requirements of their own institution's review procedures and forms before beginning research. These templates are modified during IU's human subjects review process to reflect the specific parameters of each project we undertake. Note that our forms are designed for our center's research, not for individual faculty or student research. For more information on the form(s) you need, contact your institutional review board. If you are an independent researcher, or you work for an institution other than a university that has no review process in place yet, it is still important to be sure your interviewee(s) understand all facets of the project, the disposition of the interviews, and their rights as interviewees. The content of the CSHM forms may serve as models for designing your own forms. You can learn more about the ethics of conducting oral history interviews from the Oral History Association's Evaluation Guidelines.
The CSHM uses two forms in its oral history projects. The informed consent is signed by the interviewee and interviewer before the interview begins. It explains the project, interviewee/interviewer rights and responsibilities, anonymity for the interviewee if desired, and the process for addressing questions about the project. The deed of gift is signed by the interviewer and interviewee at the conclusion of the interview, or after the interviewee has had the opportunity to review the interview tape or transcript. The deed of gift is the form that transfers copyright and opens the interview for the use of researchers in our archive. Any restrictions on the use of the interview, such as anonymity (which should have already been noted on the informed consent) or temporary closing of the interview, are recorded on the deed of gift.
If you have questions about these forms or procedures, you can contact the Center at 812/855-2856, or Email us.