The Grand Generation
Interviewing Guide & Questionnaire

This site presents some guidelines Smithsonian folklorists have developed over the years for collecting folklore and oral history from older tradition-bearers. It features a general guide to conducting an interview as well as a sample list of questions, which may be adapted to your own needs and circumstances. The site concludes with a few examples of ways to preserve and present your findings, and a selection of further readings.

Getting to Know the Grand Generation
The Equipment
The Interview

Some Possible Questions for Interviews
Presenting Your Findings
Further Reading


This guide was produced to accompany the exhibition, The Grand Generation: Memory, Mastery', Legacy, organized by the Smithsonian Institution Office of Folklife Programs and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). SITES is a program activity by the Smithsonian Institution that organizes and circulates exhibitions on art, history, and science to institutions in the United States and abroad. To view other exhibitions by SITES, visit SITES on the web.