Foreword by the Director of the Imperial War Museum,
Dr Noble Frankland CBE DFC

The Imperial War Museum exists to illustrate and record all aspects of modern warfare and collects every type of material bearing on this subject. These have included, since the Museum's foundation in 1917, films, photographs, documents, books, and works of art as well as weapons, uniforms, medals, equipment and other three-dimensional objects. Recently the development of sound recording and of oral history techniques has added a new dimension to this range of materials and one that is especially important to the Imperial War Museum. For it is now possible to secure permanent records of those servicemen and women and civilians who, for lack of inclination, opportunity, or literary skill, will leave no written records for the historians of the future to study. The participants in great historical events may be questioned about them and their experiences and opinions recorded in their own voices. Sound recording also adds to the range of different ways in which the public is able to gain access to the Museum's collections by using sound in exhibitions and in educational activities, through audio publications, and by contributing recordings to radio programmes - two programmes, Icarus with an Oilcan and The Loneliest Men have been compiled by the Museum's staff and broadcast by the British Broadcasting Corporation. Since 1977 the sound archive has been open to the public and copies of tapes offered for purchase. The Museum's Department of Sound Records, its newest collecting Department, was founded in January 1972. The Keeper, Mr David Lance, is also Secretary of the International Association of Sound Archives with which the Museum is pleased to be associated in publishing this guide to oral history technique.

Noble Frankland
Imperial War Museum
9th February 1978


Foreword by the President of the International Association of Sound Archives, Dr Dietrich Schüller

The International Association of Sound Archives was established in 1969. It exists to represent, focus and develop the work and interests of institutions and individuals professionally involved in the collection, preservation and dissemination of documents of recorded sound. Since its creation IASA has drawn together members associated with archives of music recordings; historical, literary and dramatic recordings; bio-acoustic and medical sounds; recorded language and dialect surveys; folklife and ethnological recordings; and many broadcasting organisations. The practice of oral history, which has developed with remarkable speed during the past two decades, has resulted in the creation of an important new category of sound archive that is now well represented within IASA. This work by David Lance is welcome as a useful source of practical information for all who are concerned with oral history and, particularly, with oral history sound archives. It is the first in a series of specialist publications which IASA hopes to sponsor. In making this publication possible the International Association of Sound Archives is glad to acknowledge the burden of authorship, preparation and printing which has been carried by the Imperial War Museum.

Dietrich Schüller
Phonogrammarchiv der Osterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
13th January 1978