Some life stories can be charmingly, memorably told in the medium that has come to be called "oral history." We can produce such documents with one or more narrators. We can fashion them into lengths and shapes that seem most promising. The process moves much as described in the Your Story link. We are equipped to provide two oral history products:
Option one is to produce unedited recordings of a series of interviews, with substantial preparation, in the voices of the narrator or narrators and the interviewer or guide, on audio CD’s. All voices will be identified. In addition we provide a verbatim written transcription of the recordings and a Microsoft Word CD. For the logistics and costs of this process, see the Preliminary Meeting paragraph of the Your Story link.
Option two is for us to transcribe those recordings and then refashion the material into a coherent, flowing written narrative. By mutual agreement, that will entail considerable editing. We may move sections, tighten language, cut out redundancies, polish grammar -- all to achieve structure and narrative grace. From your information, we will confirm proper names, dates, locations, personal details. We may improve diction. All delicate or controversial issues will be presented for your review. We will submit our editing for your approval. The original audio CD’s will be given you as well. We do not do editing of audio recordings. Cost will be as outlined in the Future Meetings paragraph of the Your Story link.
Throughout the entire process, confidentiality is assured. You will have final, ultimate control of the end product. If at any point the process breaks down, all materials will be returned to you upon payment of costs incurred. We will retain no copies.
In either case, in preparation for the initial interviews it will be vital for us to have a substantial outline of names, places, dates, and major events in the sweep of experience that we are going to be drawing upon. After an initial telephone discussion, this information can be sent to us by e-mail or mail, allowing us to formulate questions. If important documents are to be mentioned or cited, we should receive copies of them well in advance. They can be incorporated in the final text.
For an additional fee of $300 an hour of interviewing time, we can make a video record that we will give you in DVD form. We do not edit video material, but can refer you to commercial services that do.
The final discs and documents will be of the quality that you may offer to commercial publishers or agents. We are not literary agents. We do not market manuscripts to publishers. We will, however, supply guidance concerning reputable print-on-demand firms, many of which can produce books of the quality of commercial publishers.
"Oral history" has become an academic subject in itself, a significant sub-discipline of history and the social sciences. It is not our objective to produce academic documents. Our goal is solely to produce final documents that serve your needs.