FAQ | Oral History


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is involved in an oral history interview?

Simply put, an oral history interview is a recorded dialogue between a trained interviewer and an interviewee who has done or witnessed something historic. All interviews recorded for the UNT Oral History Program are archived in UNT Special Collections in Willis Library on UNT's main campus in Denton, and nearly all interviews are transcribed.

Once an interview is arranged between the Oral History Program and an interviewee, an interviewer is assigned to the project. The interviewer performs background research prior to the interview and develops an interview outline. The Oral History Program office creates a donor agreement for the Interviewee outlining both the interviewee's and University's rights and responsibilities as part of the interview process. The interview takes place in a quiet, comfortable setting agreed upon by both the interviewee and interviewer. The interview is recorded and then returned to the Oral History Program office for transcription. After the transcription is complete, it is edited twice by the Oral History Program and once by the interviewee. Finally, after incorporating any changes or comments suggested by the interviewee, the document is sent for binding. Of the three hardbound transcripts resulting from the process, one is sent to the Interviewee, one to the University Archives for public research purposes, and one is archived by the Oral History Program.

Q. I know someone who wants to be interviewed about their experiences. Will you interview them?

The UNT Oral History Program is devoted to capturing the history of North Texas. To the extent the individual's experiences match our research interests and resources are available, we will attempt to record that person's oral history. We are, however, limited in resources and may be unable to respond at the time the request is first received. It is always a good idea to fill out the Contact Us form or call the Oral History Office at (940) 565-2549 in order to coordinate such requests.

Q. How can I access the oral histories in your collection?

The oral histories in the UNT oral history collection can be accessed by personally visiting the UNT Libraries Special Collections on the 4th Floor of Willis Library, or by ordering a photocopy delivered by mail. Some interview transcripts are available as PDFs, deliverable electronically. Please contact the OHP at (940) 565-2549 or oralhistory@unt.edu to see if the transcript(s) in which you are interested can be delivered in PDF form. If you have a UNT EUID and the transcript you are interested in has been digitized, you may be able to download it directly from the UNT Digital Library.

Q. How do I order a copy to be delivered by mail?

Use the online Collection Index to locate the transcript(s) you are interested in. Note the Oral History (OH) volume numbers as well as the names of the interviewees of the transcripts you wish to order. Use the PDF order form for our standard order form and directions.

Complete order form, save and return by email to oralhistory@unt.edu and make payment using the online payment link at the bottom of order form.

Or you may enclose payment by check or money order and mail with the completed order form to:

University of North Texas
Oral History Program
1155 Union Circle #305430
Denton, TX 76203-5017

We will process orders once both the order form and payment has been received. We can only accept payment in U.S. dollars.

Q. Can I borrow a UNT oral history transcript through interlibrary loan?

Unfortunately, the UNT Oral History Program cannot loan its oral histories.

Q. How do I get to Special Collections in Willis Library?

Visit the Willis Library Hours, Locations, Directions page.

Q. When is Special Collections open?

Visit the Special Collections home page.

Q. Who do I contact with research questions?

For questions concerning Special Collections in general, or use of the transcripts in the archives, contact University Archivist Morgan Gieringer at (940) 565-2766 or Morgan.Gieringer@unt.edu.

For questions concerning specific matters of content of the Oral History Collection, please contact the OHP at (940) 565-2549.

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