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Series 1: Oral History Interviews, circa 1995-2012

Identifier: id72229

Scope and Contents

VERY IMPORTANT: Anyone quoting from or making substantial use of the oral histories collected here should consider THE SOUND RECORDINGS THE DEFINITIVE SOURCE. Transcripts, indexes, and key words are only tools meant to help guide users to the sound recordings. Most of these interviews were done by WDP student-interviewers. Most interviews combine a life history format with some questioning specific to a student-interviewer’s research interests. As part of their training, WDP students do some group interviews and also interview one another, and the collection also contains these recordings. Additionally, the collection gathers some recordings that were done by other groups—for example, local volunteers helping commemorate Williamsburg’s 300th anniversary. All oral history interviews conducted by the WDP are done following the Oral History Association’s principles and best practices guidelines. Each record in the digital archive contains: a) a sound recording of an interview (WAV format; some MP3 format); a few recordings have been edited to reflect restrictions; some recordings are available for use only on-site in Swem Library’s Special Collections b) an image of the Deed of Gift relevant to the interview (PDF or TIFF format) c) a “live index” to the recording (PDF format); these indexes were made by assistants to the main interviewer during the interview and, using time code, give a rough guide to major topics covered in the interview. d) a “headnote” (PDF format); written by the main interviewer, headnotes give some basic information on the circumstances in which the interview took place and highlight some key topics covered in the interview. Many records also contain: e) an interview transcript, which incorporates the headnote described above (PDF format); prepared by the main interviewer, transcripts attempt to render the dialogue of the interview in a way that is quickly searchable. SCHOLARS WISHING TO QUOTE, SYNOPSIZE, OR REFERENCE A WDP ORAL HISTORY SHOULD ALWAYS CHECK THE TRANSCRIPT AGAINST THE INTERVIEW RECORDING. Some records may also contain: f) scans of documents or photographs (TIFF files) related to the interviewee or topics covered in the interview.


  • Creation: circa 1995-2012


Conditions Governing Access:

Portions of this collection may be restricted for privacy reasons. Consult a staff member for assistance. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, such as the Virginia Public Records Act (Code of Virginia. § 42.1-76-91); and the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (Code of Virginia § 2.2-3705.5). Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. If sensitive material is found in this collection, please contact a staff member immediately. The disclosure of personally identifiable information pertaining to a living individual may have legal consequences for which the College of William and Mary assumes no responsibility.


From the Collection: 9.45 Linear Feet


From the Collection: English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center Repository