Voices from the Past

Voices from the Past

From the Royal BC Museum

When conducting an interview, it’s important to ask the right questions. Use this guide when formulating your interview questions.

Where to Begin Your Own Research

If you are looking for information specific to British Columbia, the first location to check is the online catalogue from the BC Archives. New information is always being added giving ever growing access to the archival materials from your own home.

Watch these helpful instructional videos on how to search the BC Archives:

How-to: BC Archives Genealogy Search. Learn how to find records on births, deaths, marriages or baptisms in BC.

How-to: BC Archives Collections Search. Learn how to find any documents aside from those used in the genealogy search, including maps, photographs, textual records, moving images or audio recordings.

This article by Dennis Duffy and David Mitchell appeared in Bright Sunshine and a Brand New Country, a 1979 publication in the BC Archives’ Sound Heritage series. It examines the British Columbia oral history work of CBC radio producer Imbert Orchard, drawing on a 1978 interview with Orchard. You can hear parts of the interview in the listen section.

This article from Sound Heritage highlights the George Lutz and Jack Vetleson interview conducted by Derek Reimer. You can hear parts of the interview in the listen section.

Outside Links

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The largest oral history collection at the BC Archives is the Imbert Orchard Collection. It is comprised of almost 1,000 interviews recorded throughout the province in the 1960s, focusing on topics such as immigration and settlement in British Columbia in the years before the First World War. Author and oral historian Robert “Lucky” Budd sifted through the hours of recordings to compile an award-winning work, Echoes of British Columbia: Voices from the Frontier. 

The Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling is a great resource when starting out on your own oral history interview projects.

Get inspired by StoryCorps, one of the largest American oral history projects to date. In addition to the classic audio format, StoryCorps (with assistance of Rauch Brothers Animation) has created animated versions of some of the oral interviews.