The release form is a formal agreement between the interviewee, the interviewer, and the institution involved in the oral history. It acknowledges the rights of the interviewee, and the process on how the interviews will be preserved and maintained. The form also captures basic information such as the names of the participants and the date of the interview, which contributes to the maintenance and access of the oral histories.

Filling out the form with the participants also provides the interviewee an opportunity to ask questions and clarify any terms of the agreement. It is important for the interviewee to have informed consent, i.e. given all the information necessary to come to a decision about whether they want to participate in the oral history project.

Be sure to go over the release form when you make initial contact (Step 2.3) and fill out the release form together before conducting the interview (Step 3).