Designing and Planning your Oral History Project

This course is being delivered online during the Covid-19 pandemic.

This new 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 appropriate for sole independent researchers.

Before confirming your place the Training Administrator may 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.

The course covers:

  • Project rationale and design
  • Ensuring the project aims and outputs are feasible
  • Finding project partners and supporters
  • Things to consider when working with volunteers
  • Getting to grips with technology and planning workflows
  • Assessing risks
  • Budget planning

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.

The focus of the day is very much grounded in participants’ own projects and ideas-sharing within the group.

Each course is led by two BL/OHS-accredited trainers.

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:

First day: 9.30am – 1.15pm

09:30 – 10:00 Welcome and introductions

10:00 – 11:00 Project rationale and focus:
• 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

11:00 – 11:30 Break

11:30 – 12:45 People:
• 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

Second day: 9.30am – 1.15pm

09:30 – 11:00 Risk assessment:
• What are the risks that oral history projects face and how can they be mitigated? Practical group work and discussion

11:00 – 11:30 Break

11:30 – 12:15 Technical requirements:
• Recording equipment
• File sharing workflow
• Data storage and back-up
• Documentation workflow
• Audio editing and outputs

12:15 – 13:00 Money:
• Budget planning: practical session
• Evaluation and targets
• Sharing your ideas on funding sources

13:00 – 13:15 Evaluation of the day and Q&A

Course prices

Full attendance fee: £145.00
OHS member fee: £103.00

How to book

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 one person from any one institution may attend each course.

The following OHS training dates are available:

No event found!

If there are currently no dates found for courses please contact the training administrator if you would like to be notified of any future dates.

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