An OHS Special Interest Group

Creative Oral History

For those with an interest in creative uses of life stories. Our aim is to encourage collaborations, connections and creativity. 

About us

In 2019, at the Oral History Society Regional Network Event on the theme of Creative Uses of Oral History, held at the British Library, a number of speakers shared their expertise and creative responses to oral history. Many of those present found it inspiring and exciting. Creative approaches in the field of oral history have garnered widespread interest and attention from oral historians, creative practitioners and funders. There is growing awareness that art can be an invaluable bridge to communicate ideas, share information and involve audiences.

At local level, many site-specific community-based oral history projects have fantastic creative outputs; at a national level, in 2019 the British Library hosted ‘The Library of Ideas’, an event which opened up the potential of archives, including oral history archives, as sites of inspiration for artists and students to research and develop of their own artistic ideas.

In setting up this OHS Creative SIG, we aim to build on the momentum and interest of members to explore creative oral history work which has been around for a long time and remains a vibrant area of practice.


What is the Creative Oral History Special Interest Group?

The Creative Oral History Special Interest Group seeks to bring together Oral History Society members who are working with oral history in creative or innovative ways or who are interested in the issues and practice involved and to gather and share good practice in this field. This includes all forms of artistic practice, including, but not restricted to, art, film, creative writing and performance.

The Creative Oral History Group’s purpose in the first instance is to:

  • Bring together members of the Oral History Society with an interest in creative uses of oral history and creative practitioners working with life stories, to encourage collaborations, connections and creativity.

The group intends to develop the following areas:


  • Guide and assist good practice in oral history and creative practice.
  • Establish an online directory of existing and past projects which bring together oral history and creative practice to increase awareness of work in this area.
  • Develop tailored guidelines on ethical practice for those working in the field of oral history and creative practice.


  • Create networking opportunities for oral history and creative practitioners to share collaborative opportunities, innovation, knowledge and skills, funding opportunities and best practice.
  • Explore innovative ways of communicating as a group using new technology.


  • Increase community engagement with creative oral history and the sharing of knowledge through events, conferences, workshops, seminars and webinars

Join the group

As a new and developing group we have an open-door policy, welcome new members and value their input. For more information or to join the group, please contact us

Read the SIG's latest newsletter

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