Letter of Introduction

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Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms. LAST NAME:
The University of Washington East Asia Library is creating an extensive oral history collection, entitled History through Memories and Stories. We hope this collection will ultimately include hundreds of interviews recording the history of Seattle’s Chinese and Taiwanese immigrants through individuals’ life stories. Your oral history is unique and precious, and we are contacting you to ask whether you would be willing to be interviewed for our project.
Interviews in the History through Memories and Stories collection are held as digital files and as printed transcripts, and are available to the public for research. Scholars, researchers, students and anyone interested will have access to this rich material through the University of Washington Special Collections Repository of the Pacific Northwest, the University of Washington Digital Initiatives and the University of Washington East Asia Library. Members of the public can also request copies of interviews. Oral histories are an indispensable resource for understanding immigrant experiences in Seattle, and, through this project, they will become an essential part of the University of Washington’s collection. Currently, our interviews are focused on documenting the lives and experiences of Chinese and Taiwanese immigrants to Seattle who are eighty years old or older, and we hope to include your stories and reflections in our collection.
Your interview will be a one-on-one conversation or series of conversations with your interviewer, INTERVIEWER FULL NAME, that will be recorded by digital video camera at the East Asia Library or in your home, whichever is more convenient for you. All recording will be done by one of our trained student producers, PRODUCER FULL NAME. It is helpful to our team, but not required, for you to fill out our project’s pre-interview survey so INTERVIEWER FIRST NAME can better prepare for your interviews. INTERVIEWER FIRST NAME will also contact you to see if a pre-interview meeting can be arranged for the two of you to sit down with PRODUCER FIRST NAME to discuss any questions you may have and to plan your interviews together. We’ve found that the more actively you plan these interviews, the better they will be. If you would prefer not to have a pre-interview meeting, however, INTERVIEWER FIRST NAME will also be happy to discuss the interview process and answer your questions over the phone.
Your interviews will be made available to the public in the University of Washington East Asia Library. For that reason, we will ask you to sign a copyright agreement before your first interview session, giving the library permission to share your interviews publicly. We hope that you will be open, honest and comprehensive in your interviews – it is your chance to say precisely what you would like to say and be confident the East Asia Library will preserve your words forever. If, at the end of an interview session, you decide you would like to place certain topics off the record, out of the public view for a period of time, then we will be happy to “seal” sections of your interview until a mutually agreed upon future date. Your candor is worth a great deal, and the University of Washington East Asia Library, Digital Initiatives and Special Collections can assure you that your wishes for privacy will be met. INTERVIEWER FIRST NAME will ask at the end of every interview session whether there are any additional parts of your interview you would like to seal. Please also feel free to discuss concerns of this sort with INTERVIEWER FIRST NAME at any time.
The History through Memories and Stories project is also actively collecting artifacts, photographs and documents concerning Chinese and American history – if you have material you would consider donating to the collection, please let INTERVIEWER FIRST NAME know so that HE/SHE can arrange for the East Asia Library to coordinate this with you. Though this project just began in the summer of 2014, we hope that our collection will become one of the most significant in the Pacific Northwest. With this goal in mind, the library is already working on plans to contribute oral histories to local museum exhibits, as well as looking for ways to incorporate them into programs, publications, web resources, social media, and education programs. We invite you to join us in this major initiative.
I thank you in advance for your willingness to contribute your story to the University of Washington East Asia Library History through Memories and Stories collection. INTERVIEWER FULL NAME will contact you shortly to arrange for a pre-interview conversation in person or over the phone. If you have any questions, please contact me or our oral history team. My phone is (206) 543-5635 and our project e-mail is oralhist@uw.edu.
Again, thank you very much.


Zhijia Shen
Project Manager, History through Memories and Stories
Director, University of Washington East Asia Library



您與採訪者___________ (採訪者名) 將在東亞圖書館、您的家裡,或任何您覺得適合的地方,以一對一,一次或多次的形式進行訪談。訪談期間將會由本校受過相關訓練的學生___________ (學生名) 全程錄音錄影。我們會請您事前填寫一份關於您的問卷,以便___________ (採訪者名)準備後續的正式訪談。___________(採訪者名) 與___________(學生名) 會在正式訪談前,先行與您會面,回答您可能會有的疑惑,以及一起安排正式訪談的細節。根據我們的經驗,成功的訪談,需要受訪者的積極參與。如果您不想安排正式訪談前的會面,___________ (採訪者名) 也可以經由電話回答您的問題,並和您討論正式訪談的程序。
您的採訪資料將在華盛頓大學東亞圖書館對外公開,因此,我們將請您在每次採訪結束後,簽署一份授權書,允許東亞圖書館公開分享您的採訪。我們期望你能以開放、坦率的心態,詳盡地述說您的故事。請將這當做一個暢所欲言的機會,東亞圖書館將會永久妥善地保存您的一字一句。在受訪之後,假使您希望某些採訪內容暫時不對外公開,我們將很樂意為您封存這部分的內容,直至雙方約定的期限為止。我們會以謹慎的態度回報您在採訪中據實以告,華盛頓大學東亞圖書館將會竭力滿足您對隱私權的要求。如果您有任何這方面的顧慮,您都可以隨時與___________(採訪者名) 討論。
《憶往事,講故事》口述歷史項目,目前正積極地收集有關華人移民美國的文物、照片和文件。如果你想要捐獻文物,請通知___________ (採訪者名),他/她將會安排東亞圖書館與您連繫。雖然我們的計劃於2014年夏季才正式展開,但我們期望這項計劃能成為美國西北太平洋地區,最具有影響力的歷史項目之一。為了達成這個目標,東亞圖書館正致力於相關計劃,安排在本地的博物館展出口述歷史的記錄,或是將口述歷史的記錄與其他的出版品、網路資源、社交傳媒、教育性項目等互作結合。我們在此誠摯地邀請您參與這項重要的新項目。
對於您願意將您的故事捐獻給華盛頓大學東亞圖書館作為館藏,我在此致上最深的謝意。___________ (採訪者名) 與 ___________ (學生名) 會在近期內當面或以電話與您聯繫,安排正式訪談前的會面。如果您有任何的疑惑,歡迎您隨時來電或來信詢問,在此附上我的電話號碼 (206) 543-5635 與此項目的電子郵件 oralhist@uw.edu.


沈志佳 敬上