Designing and planning your oral history project (online course)

This course, run jointly by the British Library’s oral history department and the Oral History Society, is aimed at anyone who is planning a medium to large scale oral history project, particularly one that will involve managing a number of project interviewers.

It is suitable for project managers, bid writers and academics using oral history in standalone projects, or planning to use oral history as a component within broader community heritage or research activities. The course is not usually appropriate for sole independent researchers.

Before confirming your place the Training Administrator will contact you for further details about the project you are planning.

Note that this course is preparatory to running an oral history project and is not designed for projects which have already begun. The course does not cover oral history theory and practice, interview methodology and analysis, digital editing or data management. Other courses run by the BL/OHS address all these topics in detail, starting with the Introduction to Oral History course.

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 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 schedule

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

Day 1

09:30 - 09:45
Welcome and Introductions
• Why are you here? What is the point of project management? • Understanding your oral history project • Aims and objectives: who is your audience? • Research/background: finding other sources, avoiding duplication • Scope and scale • What else might you like to collect at the same time • Preparing for archiving • Project outputs
09:45 - 11:00
Project rationale and focus
Understanding memory
11:00 - 11:30
11:30 - 12:45
• Staffing: paid staff, volunteers and how to support them, training • Project partners: different roles, archive arrangements • Governance: management and advisory committees • Interviewees: finding them, selecting them, sharing project information • Handing over to your Project Manager • Working with your institution
12:45 - 13:15
Evaluation of the day and Q&A

Day 2

09:30 - 10:45
Risk assessment
• What are the risks that oral history projects face and how can they be mitigated? Practical group work and discussion
10:45 - 11:00
11:00 - 11:45
Technical requirements
• Recording equipment • File sharing workflow • Data storage and back-up • Documentation workflow • Audio editing and outputs
11:45 - 12:00
12:00 - 13.00
• Budget planning: practical session • Evaluation and targets • Sharing your ideas on funding sources
13:00 - 13:15
Evaluation of the day and Q&A

Book Event

Full fee ticket £145
Available Tickets: 9
The Full fee ticket ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.
OHS Member Ticket £103

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 Member Ticket ticket is sold out. You can try another ticket or another date.


07 - 08 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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