on Asia-Pacific Forum for Library and Achives Management
India, UTC- June 18, 2004
of Oral Tradition
A Practical Experience
We Do It!
Oral History Project:
frail and dying – documents can wait to be preserved.
cold. Stories are warm. Facts are less important
a church member, and especially a church leader dies,
a library of information dies too.
In a perpetual
race against the clock we at the Archives strive to
record the stories before time catches up with us.
Emeritus Rev. Dr. Denis Dutton, when he was the presiding
Bishop, encouraged all churches to record the oral history
of senior members “before their memories fade away.”
undertaken to draw up an account of the things that
have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed
down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses
and servants fo the word. Therefore, since I myself
have carefully investigated everything from the beginning,
it seemed good also to me to write an orderly account
for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may
know the certainty of the things you have been taught.
which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which
we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at
and our hands have touched – this we proclaim concerning
the Word of life.
upon a time….”
Remember the wonders God has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he
8 God remembers his covenant forever,
the word he commanded, for a thousand
Story of a Saving Nation
will commend your works to another;
tell of your mighty acts.
will tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
so that all
men may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Zion, go around her,
well her ramparts,
may tell of them to the next generation.
God is our God for ever and ever;
He will be
our guide even to the end.
the days of old;
the generations long past.
father and he will tell you,
and they will explain to you.
13 – the priestly writers define the ordinance for
In days to come, when your son asks
you, “What does this mean?” say to
that sustained the people of Israel
is born in hearts that take time to count up past mercies.”
is the memory of the heart.”
“Our gladness is complete when we show our gratitude.
It is expressed verbally, through correspondence and
by readiness to return kindness. Remembrance of
God’s mercies to us makes us grateful people…but gratitude
to the Almighty when things go wrong is worth more than
a thousand thanks when things are agreeable to our inclination
or favorable to us. It reveals our maturity to
accept the pleasant and unpleasant situations in life.”
I live to be a hundred, I’ll never forget…..
or family histories
family has made, pets, interesting members
Archives & History
Church in Malaysia
Did We Start?
4 years ago,
We Did It!
and May Lian coordinated
identified interested and suitable persons for training
SOS via email
and Resources from:
National Archives, Malaysian National Archives
a training workshop from scratch.
help from Dr. Jean-Paul Weist
in Hong Kong through email.
on Oral History31 August 2002Trinity Methodist Church
- To inform
local church representatives of the importance of Oral
- To conduct
- To process
some key persons / leaders and assigned the members
of the Board of Archives & History to do the interview.
on the background of the interviewee if not familiar.
for first visit to explain what Oral History Interview
is all about.
Oral History is about and how the taped interview will
questions that will be asked at interview.
the contents of Gift Certificate.
for oral interview and timeline
Set the counter
for 5-10 counts before taping
– set as neutral
set at normal unless running out of
tape, then set at double.
VOR – voice
activated recording set at L (Low)
or H (High)
for play back only
button instead of Stop button to
will flicker when weak
batteries and tapes
– 2-3 one-hour time frame.
Home is best –
Informal and relaxed
Have a sound
proof or semi-sound proof room with comfortable chairs.
Have a glass
of water on hand
no phones, no visitors, no cooking.
Sheet Interview Agreement
of Recorded Tape
taped interview for Researchers
transcript with interviewee.
spelling of proper names, towns, etc. with interviewee.
Leave a copy
of transcript with interviewee.
for final draft.
a copy for final approval.
content of Gift Certificate again.
cataloging data sheet
of the copy to be given to the interviewee.
the transcript and document items.
INTERVIEW WITH THE
(DR.) PETER SIMON
(DR.) PETER SIMON, B.A., M.A., Ph D.
TRAC of the Methodist Church, Malaysia
cannot be undone.
tells is going to be in tomorrow’s news.
one’s own voice (too husky)
Not a public
speaking into a tape recorder
ask wrong questions
how to phrase questions
goes off, hard to bring him/her back
up orderly sequences of questions prepared
and assure interviewee of confidentiality
the recording after 5 minutes to check
write down thoughts in point form
Look at CNN
ready and set everything in order before interview
ready to tick off questions answered by interviewee
a team, a support group
do not be ambitious
It is possible
to start cheap
– don’t wait – learn and improve as you go.
We made a lot of mistakes.
We broke a lot of rules.