Oral History Interview

Oral History Interviews - Tell your Life Story

Buy a single oral history interview to see how you like it.  Or, buy multiple oral history interviews to allow for a more complete story to be told.  Before purchasing, please read How do Life Story Interviews Work.  When we discuss scheduling the interview(s), you can decide whether to conduct them over the phone, over Zoom or in person. 

1 - 50 minute interview:    $147 USD

3 - 50 minute interviews:  $415 USD  (5% discount)

6 - 50 minute interviews:  $794 USD  (10% discount)

Contact Me to have an initial conversation about your goals and to schedule your first interview.

Woman talking on phone

Don't wait:

It can be hard to get together in person, but there is no need to put off interviewing a family member to preserve the stories they have told you or to learn more details about their younger years.  Or for that matter, to tell your own story!

Do you already have an audio or video recording that you would like to have transcribed?  As long as I have the equipment to access the recording, I can transcribe it for you. Contact Me

Transcribe 1 hour of audio/video:  $90 USD

On Zoom:

If you can get in front of a computer with a camera, I can interview and record anyone (in English) on Zoom.  You will get the recording with a transcription. 

By Telephone:

Don't have a computer? It is also easy to record a conversation via telephone.

In Person:

Do you prefer to do the interview in person?  That is possible.  I live in Alexandria, Ontario and can travel to Ottawa or Montreal (and in between) to interview you or your loved one.  There will be travel costs added to the base fee.

What do you get with your Oral History Interview?

When you buy an oral history interview, here is what's included:

  • An initial 15-minute consultation to discuss what you want to achieve
  • A list of potential questions to look over.  You can select the ones you particularly want to focus on, or let the conversation flow naturally
  • A 50-minute interview, where I, as the interviewer, remain in the background as much as possible, allowing you, the client, to express your thoughts.  The interview can be done over Zoom (creating a recorded video), over the telephone, or in person*  
  • An automated transcription of the interview as it occurred, without editing
  • Digital files of the recording and the transcription, unedited

*In person interviews can be conducted within an approximate 100km radius of Alexandria, Ontario.  Inquire about additional costs to cover travel time and gas.

Contact Me

Microphone Icon

Here is an example of a brief section of audio from the recorded interview of my grandmother, Nell Waddell with my brother, Peter Waddell.  Bear in mind, this is taken from a 33-year-old amateur VHS video converted to digital.


Do you already have an audio or video recording that you would like to have transcribed?  As long as I have the equipment to access the recording, I can transcribe it for you. Contact Me

1 hour of audio/video:  $90 USD

Oral History Interview Transcript

A little over 5 minutes of audio becomes about 3 pages of text.  Depending on where and  how the recording is transcribed, it may or may not have the time codes.  Once transcribed, you can read the text as is, use it to create stories or books, reorganize it by topic.  So much can be done!  And it's easier to refer back to.  

FYI: even with automated transcription of my 1.5 hour video, it still took me another 5 hours of work to correct and refine the transcript.  It's a time-consuming process.  Of course, good quality, current audio helps the process immensely.  You will receive the unedited version.  Any work that you might want done over and above the raw, automated transcription, can be discussed with me and we can talk about pricing for that work.

Here is what a transcript of  a portion of that small section looks like:

Peter (00:45)

Here we are, March 13th, 1989. We have just passed the occasion of your 90th birthday.  So, how do you feel?

Nell (01:18)

How do I feel after my 90th birthday?  No worse or no better than I did before my 90th birthday. But, I feel all right. I feel good.

Peter (01:25)

That means good or bad?

Nell (01:26)

That's good. Yeah, I feel good.

Peter (01:33)

What was your birthdate?

Nell (01:34)

The 8 March 1899.

Peter (01:49)

Tell me about your dad, where he came from, what he did?

Nell (01:54)

My father was born in London, England.  So was my mother born in London, England. And he was a tailor to start with. And then he finished up being a male nurse. You know, he went around to houses and helped people being a male nurse  My mother was a Maternity Nurse and they had nine children.

Peter (02:44)

Like a midwife sort of thing? She got lots of practice, I guess.

Nell (02:49)

She had lots of experience. Yeah, she had nine children, but two died when they were young. Then seven of us grew up.

Peter (02:59)

What did they die of?

Nell (03:01)

Well, I think one died very young, a few days old. And the other one, I think she had a fall and then died of something. I don't know what it doesn't say anything about what she had. My two brothers were killed in the war, 1914 war and that left five girls. And my eldest sister was a maternity nurse too. She stayed in England. She didn't come over here. And we came over. My father came over about two years before we did. And then he sent for my eldest son and he came over. They both got working for the CPR.

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