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Oral history

Participation and recording agreements

Participation agreement

A participation agreement must be given to the interviewee for their approval and consent before any recording takes place.

Your community archive will own the copyright to the recording of the interview. The copyright of the spoken words will initially lie with the interviewee, so it is important that the participation agreement asks them to agree to sign this copyright to you.

You should still ask the interviewee for permission for any subsequent use of the recordings that is not covered by the participation agreement, and respect any closure periods they want to impose.

Download an example participation agreement.

The participation agreement should:

  • Set out how the recording will be kept and used – and that any use that falls outside of these criteria will be approved by the interviewee
  • Inform the interviewee how their personal information may be used and shared, and who owns the copyright of the recording
  • Inform the interviewee they will have control over which parts of the interview can be made available – nothing that may cause them damage or distress should be made public

Both parties must sign copies of the agreement and each should keep a copy.

Recording agreement

Once the interview has been completed, the interviewee will also need to sign a recording agreement – download a sample recording agreement. This assigns copyright of the recording to the community archive and allows the interviewee to list any sections of the interview they would like to remain closed.

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