The purpose of the St. Joseph Public Library Oral History Project is to record and preserve historical interviews from individuals who have experienced St. Joseph’s history firsthand.

How Do I Get Involved?

Fill out and submit an information card. Information cards are available at each of our four library branches. The card does not need to be submitted to the same branch from which you acquired it. Or fill out our online submission form.


If you fit the criteria of the Oral History Project, you will then be contacted to set up a pre-interview meeting. During the pre-interview you will:

  • fill out a short biographical data information sheet
  • determine the scope of your interview
  • decide the time period and subject matter you would like to talk about
  • get an idea of the types of questions you will be asked


Most oral history interviews take approximately two hours. However, every interview is different so it may run longer or shorter.

If you think you will not be able to sit and talk for that amount of time, arrangements for multiple interviews may be made.

During the interview, you will be asked a series of questions. You have the right to not answer any questions that you are not comfortable with. You reserve the right to terminate the interview at any time.

After the Interview

Once the interview has concluded, your interview will be taken back to the St. Joseph Public library where it will be archived and preserved for future generations.

The interview will be uploaded onto the St. Joseph Public Library website, where the public may have access to it. The interview will not be transcribed, instead a topical index will be created.

A topical index lists at what time during the interview you began to talk about a certain subject.



No sensitive information, other than what you choose to include in the interview, will ever be made available to the public. Any personal information discussed outside of the interview is only for St. Joseph Public Library Project records, and will not be made available to the public unless expressly agreed upon.