- Historical societies have oral tape recordings, diaries, documents, photograph collections, journals, business records, books, artifacts, etc.
- Many State historical societies have newspapers on microfilm that you can borrow through inter-library loan to read. (Be sure the library you have them sent to has a microfilm reader that you can use.)
- Universities have thesis papers on file that can provide excellent material.
- The Clerk and Recorders office in county courthouses hold many records
- school district records
- county commissioner journals
- births, deaths, and others
- Your congressman or representative can be invaluable resources. If you state your needs clearly when writing for help their staff can often provide information about things you've never heard of that pertain to your project.
- They can get documents from the Library of Congress for you.
- Newspapers will sometimes let you research their morgue (files of old newspapers)
- State Bureaus, government offices and businesses can provide statistics and out-of-print material.
- The old minutes books in community organizations hold fascinating material.
- Old-timers are treasure chests of information.
- For example -- Over a period of several years I sent a series of thirty-minute blank tape cassettes to a gentleman who once lived in the area that I was researching. With each tape I included a card asking him to tell me about something I wanted to know more about. Within a week or two he’d return a cassette tape, recorded with everything he could recollect about the topic. Through this method I collected information I would never have been able to find any other way.
Securing documentation and release forms
Use laws or copyright laws apply to just about everything. Photographs, videofilmed images, digital images, music, written words, spoken words, electronic words, etc. Never overlook getting signed releases as soon as possible, and always have a release before you use the material.
- Don't try to ignore copyrights, Get releases to use any copyrighted material.
- Get written releases for:
- all images
- from people you film
- to film on public lands
- to film on private property.
Oral Tape Release Form should include:
- Dates of oral tape recordings and number and length of tapes:__________________________
- Any Restrictions:________________
- Date of agreement, interviewers name and address.
- Received From: Signature(s) of Owner(s):
- (address)______ ____________________
- Date of Release: ________________________
It can be worded: Assign numbers for each negative. (for example: - fill in the blanks)
“I hereby give and grant to _____________________, as a donation, without restrictions, for such scholarly, educational and other purposes as he/she shall determine, the tape recordings and their contents listed below.Negatives on file: #_______________ #_____________
#_____________ #________________ #____________
The owner(s) of the photographs, or the person(s) you tape record may not wish to give you such an all-inclusive permission.
Donors of photographs or oral tape recordings may stipulate certain conditions.
- Example: Special Conditions: (Sign only if applicable to your pictures.) Pictures may, on occasion, be used in mussums or other educational programs, but the negavites (you)__________ make cannot be donated to a historical depository.
“I hereby give permission to [you]__________________________ to use the photographic negatives from my photographs that he/she has made. I understand these photographic copy negatives he/she has made becomes his/hers and use will be at his/her discretion. I understand that I waive all title and rights so far as I possess them to these negatives he/she has and to any future photographs he/she produces or has made from them.”Narrator: ______________________
“I hereby give and grant to _____________________, as a donation, without restrictions, for such scholarly, educational and other purposes as he/she shall determine, the tape recordings and their contents listed below