Scottish Oral History Centre

Scottish Oral History Centre

The Scottish Oral History Centre was set up to support the use of oral history within the academic community and in the cognate areas such as archives and museums.

About the Scottish Oral History Centre

The Scottish Oral History Centre (SOHC) was established at the University of Strathclyde in 1995. Since then, it has been involved in a wide range of teaching, research and outreach activities designed primarily to encourage the use of ‘best practice’ oral history methodology in Scotland.

Professor Arthur McIvor has been Director of the Centre since 2005 and we currently have a complement of twelve additional staff: Dr Lorna Barton, Dr Eleanor Bell, Dr Alison Chand, Prof Phil Cooke, Dr Matthew Eisler, Dr Laura Kelly, Dr Yvonne McFadden, Dr Emma Newlands, Dr Jesse Olszynko-Gryn, Prof Matt Smith, Dr Natalia Telepneva, Dr Angela Turner. There are fifteen current PhD students who incorporate oral history interviewing into their research methodologies in History at Strathclyde.

As a group we have a substantial publication and research record and supervise a large number of undergraduate and postgraduate students using oral history techniques.

Our events

SOHC book launch 18 October 2020

The SOHC were delighted to host an online book launch with Prof Lachlan Mackinnon talking about his new book, Closing Sysco: Industrial Decline in Atlantic Canada's Steel City (Univ of Toronto Press, 2020). Those interested can watch a recording of Prof Mackinnon's presentation at (Access Password: =d5wF$w2)

Talking Together

On Monday 16th November 2020 the SOHC hosted Dr Yvonne McFadden (Univ. Strathcyde) with her paper: 'Talking together: Creating a shared memory of the home, 1945-1975'.

Anyone wishing to hear Yvonne's talk can access it here: 

 Alternatively accessing the talk locally within the University is possible here:

Yvonne's Accompanying Slide Presentation can be accessed here:

Talking Together

Oral History Training (online)


Introduction to Oral History

The next Introduction to Oral History training workshop run by the Scottish Oral History Centre (SOHC) will be delivered online using Zoom. This will cover all the practical basics of getting started, including planning, good interviewing techniques, equipment, interview practice, transcription and summarising, ethics, copyright, data protection (GDPR) and legal issues.

This workshop will take place over two half-days on Thursday 28th of October and Friday 29th of October  from 9:30am - 1:00pm. More information can be found in the programme below along with the registration form.

SOHC Intro Training Day Programme 28.10.2021 - 29.10.2021

SOHC Intro Training Day Registration Form 28.10.21 - 29.10.21


Introduction to remote interviewing for oral historians

In this half-day oral history training workshop, we will be looking at the methods, practicalities, ethics and issues of remote interviewing (online and phone) during these unprecedented times of the Covid-19 pandemic.  It will facilitate participants making informed decisions about remote interviewing for their research/ project(s) as an alternative to face-to-face, in-person interviewing.

This workshop will take place over a half-day on Friday 26th March from 9.30am-1.00pm.  More information can be found in the programme below along with the registration form.

SOHC Online Remote Training Programme 26th March 2021

SOHC Online Remote Training Registration Form 26th March 2021

It will take place online via Zoom.

Are you interested? If so please register your interest and get on the training days waiting list by emailing  Once we have enough participants expressing an interest the SOHC will run another of these training days.

A strong Scottish & international profile

The SOHC has developed a strong profile in Scotland and has growing international links. SOHC staff have research networks across Europe, North America and Africa. We are currently involved in a transatlantic collaborative relationship with the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling (COHDS), University of Concordia, Montreal, Canada, where a number of our staff hold Research Affiliate status. The Director of COHDS, Professor Steven High, took up the first SOHC visiting Professorship in 2012. The SOHC and the COHDS have jointly organised a major international conference on deindustrialisation held in Montreal 1-5 May 2014 and we jointly run an International Oral History Summer Institute (Montreal June 2016; SOHC June 2018).

Our aims and objectives

  • To be an international centre for oral history study, research, teaching and training.
  • To promote collaborative research in oral history across disciplinary and geographical boundaries.
  • To develop knowledge transfer/outreach programmes, encouraging networking in the area of oral history with other scholars and organisations, including local government and community oral history groups.
  • To develop an expertise in the use of new technologies in oral history
  • To facilitate capacity-building and the intellectual development of the next generation of scholars/researchers in oral history.
  • To act as a corporate base for attracting external funding to support the above aims.

Our archives

The SOHC has an extensive archive of recorded interviews which are currently being digitised and catalogued prior to migration to the University Archives.  Please contact Arthur McIvor for more information.

For the Health and health-related oral history archives in Scotland Report, 26 May 2015 (David Walker) see here Scottish Oral History Centre 2015 Report

Useful Links

For more information on all things oral history, including oral history conferences, resources, GDPR, training, ethics, the OHS Journal etc. See the UK Oral History Society website at