Welcome to H-Oralhist, a member of the H-Net, Humanities & Social Sciences On-Line initiative. H-Oralhist is a network for scholars and professionals active in studies related to oral history. It is affiliated with the Oral History Association.

Recent Content

Portable Scanner

What's a good portable scanner with options for high-quality museum exhibit-size printing of old photos on foam core? What criteria would we need in terms of dpi or whatever?

Clearly we're still-photographers and audioists with little expertise on scanners. We're about to document WV railroad history for an exhibit.

We have a printer/scanner, a Canon MP280. How would that work?

Michael & Carrie Kline
Talking Across the Lines

Payment for Interviews

We all think that paying for interviews will break our budget, and in many cases it violates the grant we work under unless it is a "stipend" to a family member accompanying an interviewee. But think of it from THEIR side: we are all getting a paycheck, selling a book, doing a dissertation, getting volunteer experience, meeting grants requirements, getting fame, etc., and it is all based on THEIR life story. We all get something while the interviewee who owns that story gets nothing in their eyes; except maybe the ability to share a story for posterity.

Payment for Interviews


I am from Singapore Oral History Centre. In our guidelines, we never pay for any interviews. When payment is involved, there are many factors to consider, especially authenticity. Not only money, we do not give any other gift or reward either. However, in Asia's context, we do not go to visit people empty-handed. Thus our interviewers normally will bring some fruits or inexpensive item as a token for the first visit.