The Foundation’s staff (researchers and their assistants) are going out to the field regularly to record various forms of relevant oral literature and oral histories from experts who are normally old persons living in interior parts of Sarawak. Potential bards, shamans and other experts are continuously identified and arrangements are made to conduct recordings from them, either at their homes in the interior or at the Foundation’s office in Kuching.
Recorded tapes are conserved as part of a sound archive, comprised of original and more permanent master tapes. Textual materials are also transcribed on computer disc and permanently documented by performer location and cultural setting. Where living, fully extant traditions are involved, video recordings are carried out to preserve visuals as well as sound recordings of live performances and recitals.
In order to document its sound recordings and transcription collections, the Oral History Section of the Foundation has in the past, and will continue to organize and record gatherings/workshops for the purpose of discussion and amplification. Interview with performers and experts are also recorded as supporting documentation to recorded tapes. The resulting materials are archived and conserved as part of the Foundation’s permanent collections.
The Foundation, through its Oral History Section, is also collecting and acquiring research materials on Iban oral literature from its commissioned researchers.