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Oral History: From Theory to Practice

Course Timetable:

Registration: June 1 - August 11, 2025

Course duration: September 8 - November 17, 2025

AABC Anti-Racism Bursary

This course is eligible for the AABC Anti-Racism Bursary which covers the course registration cost and required textbook(s). More information about the bursary, eligibility, and a link to apply can be found HERE.

Bursary application deadline: T.B.D.

Course Description:

Oral history is undergoing a resurgence, thanks to the digital environment and the Internet.  What are the components of an oral history program? How should an oral history interview be conducted? What documentation is required to ensure that an archives has acquired the rights to ownership and use of the interviews? 

Using two recently revised publications: Curating Oral Histories and The Oral History Reader,  students will be introduced to the theory and practice of conducting a successful oral history program in seven modules.

Topics for the modules include:

Module 1.   Introducing Oral History

Module 2.   Administration

Module 3.   The Interview

Module 4.   Description and Transcription

Module 5.   Technology and Preservation

Module 6.   Public Outreach

Module 7.   Case Studies

Students will also receive, by electronic mail, a self-study guide which includes instructions, supplementary reading (where applicable), self-study questions, and in most modules, a practical project. The self-study questions and projects will be submitted to the Instructor for evaluation. Upon completing all the projects within the allotted time, students will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course.

Students can expect to work about 10-12 hours per week on readings and assignments for the duration of the course.

Instructor: Lisa Glandt, AABC Education and Advisory Services Coordinator

Cost: AABC members $350.00 (CAD) / Non-member $500.00 (CAD); plus the cost of the course textbooks

Textbooks: print and digital versions of the 2 textbooks are available

  • Nancy Mackay. Curating Oral Histories (Routledge, 2nd ed; 2016)
  • Robert Perks and Alistair Thomson, eds. The Oral History Reader (Routledge, 3rd ed; 2016)

Student Comments on the Course:

“I just want to say how appreciative I am of you running this course, and also a big thank you for all the valuable information I have learnt over the last few months. I have officially pitched developing an oral history program at my current place of employment and I will be using the resources and knowledge I have studied here to help get it started. So thank you!"

"I'm excited to take what I've learned and apply it in a more practical setting in the future. The course material was very interesting and has inspired me to seek out oral history projects of my own, both personally and professionally."

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The Archives Association of British Columbia acknowledges that it carries out its work on the land of Indigenous nations throughout British Columbia. We are grateful for the continuing relationships with Indigenous people in B.C. that develop through our work together.  

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