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HC 2905: Special Topics in OHIO Honors: Oral History (2022)

Instructions and resources for submitting projects to OHIO Open Library

Pre-Submission Steps

At-a-glance: (1) get consent from interviewee, (2) sign and return the Contributor Agreement [PDF] [RTF] and share signed consent forms, (3) read submission instructions.

1. Interview Preparation


Informed consent:

  • Is important for ensuring transparency in the interview process. The interviewee needs all the information necessary to decide whether or not to participate: The purpose of the interview, the goals of the project, and details such as how the recording will be archived and made available.
  • Describes to the interviewee the facts and implications of the interview, helping establish an ethical relationship. A interviewee in an oral history project, for example, needs to understand that their name, image, and voice will be used in the project and will be known to anyone viewing the project. With such considerations, it is important that the interviewee is voluntarily consenting to an interview and the interviewee understands that they can withdraw from the interview or refuse to answer any question.
  • Helps you respond to the questions: How will I be recorded (audio and/or video)? Where is this going? Who can listen to it? What can happen with it? What cannot happen with it? For this project, the recordings will be available in the OHIO Open Library repository under a Creative Commons license, openly accessible to researchers and other listeners.

Additional information:

Consent form examples:

Copyright Release or Transfer

Oral history interviews produced in the United States are subject to US copyright law. Copyright is automatic at the time of creation; it is necessary for the interviewee and interviewer to agree to copyright release or licensing the material under something a Creative Commons license at the beginning of the interview process.

As interviewers are active participants in the interview, oral history interviews are under copyright by all creators: the interviewer holds copyright for the questions and the interviewee holds the copyright for the answers. It is a work of co-authorship. This is why we have a contributor agreement and require a Creative Commons license for your submission to OHIO Open Library.

Copyright release (CC license) and consent examples:

Deed of Gift

Often, an interviewee donates oral history materials (e.g. the recording, etc.) to an organization, archive, or individual. Neither you nor the interviewee are donating anything to Ohio University Libraries.A deed of gift to Ohio University Libraries is unnecessary.

2. Sign and Return the Contributor Agreement [PDF] [RTF] (to

3. Share a Copy of the Release Form Signed by the Interviewee (to


Considerations at the Outset:

  • You can set a “cover image” for your project in OHIO Open Library, like a photograph of the interviewee or other imagery.
  • If you have files in addition to the the audio of the interview, you can upload additional files, like a transcription of the interview or other notes.

Friendly advice: before the next library session, return the Contributor Agreement and share any release forms, so you can focus on uploading your project.