Oral History Interviewer - Lyle Organizations and Churches

NOTE: This position has been filled as of February 2016. Thank you for your interest!

The Mower County Historical Society is seeking the services of an oral history interviewer to assist with an oral history project that focuses on the history of organizations and churches in the small town of Lyle, Minnesota.

This project has been financed in part with funds provided by the State of Minnesota through the Minnesota Historical Society from the Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund. As such, the project must be carried out in accordance with the provisions outlined by the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants manual.

NOTE: This position has been filled as of February 2016. Thank you for your interest!
Closing Date: January 15, 2016
Contact: John Haymond, Executive Director, 507-437-6082 director@mowercountyhistory.org

Applicants shall submit one copy of their application via email no later than January 15, 2016. Clearly mark the proposal Oral History Interviewer RFP. Incomplete submissions and submissions received after the closing date will not be accepted.

About Mower County Historical Society
The Mower County Historical Society (MCHS) was founded in 1947 and tasked with the mission of identifying, collecting, preserving and disseminating the history of Mower County. From this beginning, MCHS has developed into a historical center comprising 17 buildings (one of which is on the National Register of Historic Places), an artifact collection of more than 15,000 items, and an archive and research library holding both official records and private papers related to the county's history.

Project Description
Lyle is a small community (population 551) south of Austin in Mower County on the Minnesota-Iowa border. The first settlers to Lyle came in the late 1850s and the City of Lyle was established in 1870. Lyle is a primarily agricultural community with a number of farms that have been in the same families for as much as 150 years. Despite its small size, Lyle still operates an independent school district and hosts a number of events that showcase civic pride such as the Lyle Cancer Auction fundraiser and the annual Fourth of July celebration. The City of Lyle will celebrate its sesquicentennial in the year 2020.

This project is the first of three phases to fill gaps in recorded Lyle history through an oral history project. This first phase will focus on organizations and churches in the Lyle area and their impact on the community.

Scope and Qualifications
The interviewer will work with the project director and a transcriptionist to perform the oral history interviews and prepare them for public availability. MCHS will provide equipment for recording the interviews. Specific duties include:

  • Finding and selecting interview candidates
  • Helping select the transcriptionist
  • Preparing a list of questions, performing background research and creating interviewee bio sheet
  • Performing actual interviews with video and audio recording
  • Providing copies of video and audio interviews to project director and transcriptionist
  • Editing draft transcription and working with transcriptionist to product final copy
  • Creating and distributing final copies of all outputs to interviewees, interviewer and MCHS
  • Consulting with MCHS staff in all phases of the project to ensure adherence to MCHS standards

It is expected that the interviewer for this project should have:

  • Good communication skills
  • Knowledge of Lyle history
  • Technical knowledge to operate the recording equipment
  • The ability to edit and create the final video and transcription deliverables
  • Knowledge of oral history practices as outlined in guidelines from the Minnesota Historical Society Oral History Department and the Community Oral History Toolkit by Quinlan, MacKay and Sommer.

Application Instructions
Proposals should include:

  • statement of solution including a rough project timeline and methods of coordination
  • qualifications and experience
  • required wage

After the submission deadline, Mower County Historical Society will review all proposals and decide on the successful candidate. At its discretion, MCHS may elect to conduct interviews with the candidates.

NOTE: This position has been filled as of February 2016. Thank you for your interest!