Drawing on both the Oral History Principles and Best Practices Statement of the national Oral History Association and the federal Belmont Report on Ethical Principles for the Protection of Human Subjects, the St. Olaf Department of History has collaborated with the St. Olaf Institutional Review Board to prepare several forms for planning and conducting an ethical oral history project. The St. Olaf IRB does not review student or employee oral history projects, although members of the IRB are available to confer with any oral history interviewer or project supervisor. Student oral history projects are reviewed and approved by the student’s faculty supervisor.
This form addresses all the major elements of an oral history project. The completed form is reviewed by the student’s faculty supervisor (typically, the student’s instructor) before the student contacts a prospective narrator to request an interview.
This form includes references to the responsibilities of the instructor/project supervisor as well as the responsibilities of the student interviewer.
This form provides a template for securing the informed consent of the narrator and specifying the responsibilities of the interviewer.
If an oral history involves videos or photos that include the narrator and that will be shared publicly as part of the project, the interviewer must prepare a video/photo permission form for the narrator’s signature.
Audio Recording Permission Form
If an oral history involves audio recordings that include the narrator and that will be shared publicly as part of the project, the interviewer must prepare an audio recording permission form for the narrator’s signature.