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

All monthly seminars for the forthcoming period have been cancelled due to the closure of the University as a result of Covid-19.

Oral History Training (online)

Are you interested in training in Oral History?  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 training day.

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.

We will run this training workshop as soon as possible after enough people have registered their interest. To indicate your interest and get on the waiting list for training please contact:

Claire McConnell, Research and Knowledge Exchange Team, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, University of Strathclyde, 141 St James Road, Glasgow, G4 0LT.

Introduction to remote interviewing for oral historians

In this half-day oral history workshop, we will be looking at the practicalities, ethics and issues of remote interviewing during these unprecedented times of social isolation and distancing.  It will facilitate participants making informed decisions about remote interviewing for their research/ project(s) as a substitute or supplement to face-to-face interviewing.

It will take place via Zoom, 9.30am - 1pm, on Wednesday 15th July 2020

If you would like to attend, please complete a registration form and return to:

Claire McConnell, Research and Knowledge Exchange Team, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, University of Strathclyde, 141 St James Road, Glasgow, G4 0LT. You can also email your completed form to;

See the links below for costs, how to register and more information.

SOHC Online Training Programme 15 July 2020

SOHC Online Training Registration Form 15 July 2020


Oral History Training Podcasts

A series of oral history podcasts (with associated presentation materials) are available for listening to created in 2018 by oral history trainers from the Scottish Oral History Centre (Arthur McIvor and Lorna Barton) and fellow historians from Glasgow University (Lynn Abrams and Erin Jessee). You can access these at:

You may have to need to copy, cut and paste this url in to your internet browser (eg Google) to access these podcasts.

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