Archival Management of Oral History Collections

© British Library
This course is being delivered online and in person.

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.

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.

Course Structure

This training course covers the following areas:

  • A brief history of oral history and archiving
  • 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
  • Oral history archiving: legal and ethical issues
    – Laws that affect oral histories (copyright, GDPR, FoI)
    – Ethics (informed consent, confidentiality, creative commons)
  • 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)
  • Working with partner projects: some models for engagement 
    – Models for acquiring oral history collections
    – Acting as archive partner for community groups/NLHF projects/academic partners
    – Working with vulnerable groups
  • Access and outreach
    – Providing access (onsite and online) and promoting your oral history collections

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.

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

Course prices 2022

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

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 you would like to attend an in-person or online course, and there are currently no dates available, please contact the training administrator to register your interest.

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