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This manual is a collaborative document representing the experience of those who worked on the initial group of Torrance oral history projects. The initial draft was written by Kristi Raffa, and Kristi remains the supervising author of the manual. Kristi also selected examples from the oral history of Jennifer Floether. Stephen Lorance’s contributions were based on his experience transcribing the oral history of David W. Torrance. The description of the Torrance Oral History Project was written by Kerry Magruder and Brent Purkaple, and approved by the executive board of the T. F. Torrance Theological Fellowship.
"General editors" refers to the editors of the Torrance Oral History Project. A "History Editor" refers to the editor of a particular oral history.
We believe that every aspect of creating oral histories, including planning and conducting the oral history interview, to mounting it on the website with appropriate tagging and supplemental documentation, is an endeavor of editorial scholarship requiring subtlety and care.
This project is a collaborative project conducted by members of the T. F. Torrance Theological Fellowship. We seek Fellowship members to participate through (A) transcribing interviews; (B) conducting interviews; or (C) donating funds or equipment for member use in this project.
Do you want to volunteer to transcribe an interview for this project? Great! We need you! This manual provides training in what we call Phase II and Phase III of the editorial process, including transcription.
Do you want to volunteer to conduct an interview for this project? Great, we will provide training in the methods of oral history interviews, and the technical protocols we want you to follow as Phase I of the process of creating an oral history. In addition, we ask that you also commit to its transcription and further editing in Phase II and Phase III as described in this manual.
The key point to keep in mind is that an oral history interview is not interrogative like a traditional interview. This is to allow the narrator the opportunity to elaborate in directions that might not have been anticipated by the interviewer. In an oral history interview, the interviewer refrains from expressing judgments and opinions on topics discussed, in order to facilitate as full as possible disclosure of the narrator's own recollections and perspectives, unsullied by intrusions on the part of the interviewer.
We hope that this manual will introduce you to the ethos of the project and assist you in making your own contribution as a volunteer editor of an oral history, whether by transcribing, by interviewing and transcribing, or otherwise. Contact the general editors, Kerry Magruder and Brent Purkaple, if you're interested in helping out!