In this episode, I talk about the problems facing researchers who do oral histories. In recent weeks attention has focused on Boston College and the UK subpoena of oral history materials. While I don’t speak directly about this court case, I discuss what I think the meaning of the recent court ruling will be for scholars and how it impacts researchers who promise to keep oral history materials sealed. My take is that sensitive materials can not be kept private if it is in a public archive.
I also discuss the importance of consent forms and deeds of gift forms for anyone collecting materials that might be of interest to an archive in the future. I outline the contents, limitations and purpose of Oral history consent forms.