Archival management of oral history collections (online course)

This course is run jointly by the British Library’s oral history department and the Oral History Society and is aimed at archivists and those managing audio archive material. The course covers the practical, technical and ethical issues around the selection, collection and description of oral history and other recorded personal testimony and spoken word on multiple audio formats. It also explores opportunities that oral history-based partnerships offer archives for community engagement.

Before confirming your place the Training Administrator may contact you for further details about the audio collections you are working with.

Please note:

  • There will be no refunds for cancelled places.
  • Due to high demand and in order to ensure that each course has attendees with a variety of interests and backgrounds, only one person from any one institution may book to attend each course.
  • There are two methods of payment. You can pay online via PayPal, debit or credit card or you can make an offline payment where an invoice will be sent to your organisation. Please select the appropriate option in the booking form.

Course Structure

This online training course is delivered over Zoom video call. Each course is run over two consecutive morning sessions, 9.30am – 1.15pm, with half hour breaks mid-morning. The programme for the course is as follows (please note this is a sample structure and may differ on the day).

Hourly Schedule

First day

09:30 - 09:45
Welcome and Introductions
09:45 - 10:05
A brief history of oral history and archiving
10:05 - 11:00
Audio formats and digital preservation
– Identifying what you have (cassettes, reels, DAT, digital files) – Storage (analogue and digital): short-term and long-term – Funding suggestions for digital preservation
11:00 - 11:30
11:30 - 13:00
Oral history archiving: legal and ethical issues
– Laws that affect oral histories (copyright, GDPR, FoI) – Ethics (informed consent, confidentiality, creative commons)
13:00 - 13:15
Review of the day and Q&A

Day 2

09:30 - 11:00
Recording equipment, cataloguing, workflows, documentation
– Equipment (recorders, microphones) and new technology – Oral history arrangement, accessioning and cataloguing – Documentation that needs to be collected alongside recordings (recording agreements, summaries)
11:00 - 11:30
11:30 - 12:15
Working with partner projects: some models for engagement (Part I)
– Group work
12:15 - 12:45
Working with partner projects: some models for engagement (Part II)
– Models for acquiring oral history collections – Acting as archive partner for community groups/NLHF projects/academic partners – Working with vulnerable groups
12:45 - 13:05
Access and outreach
– Providing access (onsite and online) and promoting your oral history collections
13:05 - 13:15
Review of the day and Q&A

Book Event

Full fee ticket £135
Available Tickets: 9
The Full fee ticket ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
OHS/ARA Member Ticket £100

By joining the Oral History Society today you will benefit from a reduced course fee as well as OHS membership. Membership starts at just £33 per year. For more information please follow this link: or click 'Join the OHS' in the menu.

Available Tickets: 9
The OHS/ARA Member Ticket ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.


24 - 25 Nov 2022


9:30 am - 1:15 pm


Zoom call Time zone: London, United Kingdom GB


Camille Johnston

Oral History Training Administrator



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