Insurance offer for OHS members

The Oral History Society has teamed up with Bluefin Insurance Group to offer a special rate to members for both professional indemnity and public liability insurance.

The society strongly advises all freelance and self-employed oral historians to take out indemnity insurance to protect them at work.

The special deal gives OHS members access to premiums from as little as £16.25 per month for £100,000 professional indemnity cover and £1,000,000 public liability cover.

Bluefin have also arranged an interest-free payment facility for members to spread costs over a 12-month period.

All Bluefin clients gain access to a number of telephone advice lines as standard. These helplines offer tax and legal advice along with counselling and medical advice.

Bluefin is a national top 10 insurance broker with more than 50 offices throughout the UK offering businesses and individuals insurance and risk management advice.

For more information please contact Bluefin directly on 0345 8944684, download the quote pack here or email Please mention the OHS in the email to get the special rate.

This guide is for people who record oral history interviews, and organisations and individuals who keep collections of oral history recordings in the four nations of the United Kingdom. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland comprise the UK and amongst them have three legal systems. However so far as the law is referred to in this document it is safe to assume that all come within the wider context of UK and European law. The Oral History Society promotes the use of oral history techniques to record the memories of those whose life stories would otherwise be lost to future generations, and encourages researchers and teachers to make use of oral history in their work.

It is essential that interviewees should have confidence and trust in interviewers, and that recordings should be available for research and other use within a legal and ethical framework which protects the interests of interviewees. The following information and guidelines are aimed at ensuring that these objectives are achieved.

Anyone involved with the creation and preservation of oral history interviews should take steps to safeguard their reputation for trustworthiness. This means ensuring that what they do is within the various UK and European laws that apply to oral history and that they have not been acting illegally. Oral historians generally speaking have a good reputation in this respect. This guidance is therefore offered as reassurance and advice to both interviewers and interviewees.

The Oral History Society believes that, while oral history work must comply with the law, legal requirements alone do not provide an adequate framework for good practice. No UK law was designed specifically to regulate oral history work; in fact no law even mentions it. Beyond legal considerations we have long held the view that oral historians should abide by a voluntary set of ethical guidelines.

For these reasons this guide covers responsibilities and obligations beyond legal requirements. Members of the Oral History Society, including those who are custodians, archivists and librarians, have agreed to abide by these guidelines.

The guidance reflects the workflow of a typical oral history interview. Much of the legal and technical detail is available not within the main guidance text but via hypertext links so that the key steps and terms can be understood and followed. There are also links to sample documents and resources.