Introduction to Oral History

© British Library

This course is being delivered online and in person.

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. 

Course Structure

This training covers the following areas:

  • What is oral history? Understanding memory
  • Getting started: aims and objectives, who to interview, question approaches
  • An introduction to choosing your recording equipment
  • The interview: dos and don’ts
  • Practice interview session and evaluation
  • Documentation: summarising, transcription, copyright, archiving

Online courses are delivered over Zoom video call. Each course is run over two consecutive morning sessions, 9.30am – 1.15pm, with half hour breaks mid-morning.

In-person courses are delivered at the British Library in London. The training takes place over a full-day session, 10am – 5.30pm, with breaks throughout the day.

Evening courses are delivered during Wednesday evening sessions, 6.45pm – 8.15pm, spread across 8 weeks. There is a task to complete before each session, which will be explained as part of the training. All sessions are delivered online by Zoom video call.

To view the course schedule with timings and please click on one of the available training dates below.

Course prices

Introduction to Oral History:

  • Full attendance fee: £135.00
  • OHS member fee: £100.00

Evening course:

  • Full attendance fee: £235.00
  • OHS member fee: £200.00

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 attend each course.

The following OHS training dates are available:

September 2022
October 2022
November 2022
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.

Questions about training opportunities with the OHS?
For all questions relating to training (including further clarification of course content and reduced rate eligibility) please contact our training administrator
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