Introduction to Oral History (online course)

This self-contained course, organised jointly by the National Life Stories at the British Library and the Oral History Society, aims to be an informal and practical introduction to oral history interviewing.

The training includes the opportunity discuss some of the issues around oral history, life stories and memory. You will also learn about recording equipment and how to document oral history recordings.

Each course is led by one of the BL/OHS-accredited trainers. Places are limited to 10 per online course and 12 per in-person course, and demand exceeds available places so please apply early. No previous experience of oral history is required.

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, a maximum of two people 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 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

9.30 - 9.45
Welcome and Introductions
9.45 - 11.00
What is Oral History?
Understanding memory
11.00 - 11.30
11.30 - 12.45
Getting started
Aims and objectives, who to interview, question approaches
12.45 - 13.15
An introduction to recording equipment

Day 2

9.30 - 10.30
The Interviews: dos and don'ts
10.30 - 11.00
Practice interview
11.00 - 11.30
11.30 - 12.00
Evaluation of practice interview
12.00 - 13.15
Summarising, transcription, copyright, archiving
Sold out!


08 - 09 Aug 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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