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 and Dr Yvonne McFadden are Co-Directors of the SOHC and we currently have a complement of eleven additional affiliated staff: Dr Eleanor Bell, Prof Phil Cooke, Dr Matthew Eisler, Dr Laura Kelly, Dr Emma Newlands, Dr Jesse Olszynko-Gryn, Dr Fearghus Roulston, Prof Matt Smith, Dr Natalia Telepneva, Dr Angela Turner and SOHC trainer Dr Alison Chand. 

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 Online Social (Monday 25th of April 2022, 4pm - 6pm)

Are you a graduate student working on a project employing oral Add a l methods? Come and meet similar early career researchers and make some valuable connections.

The pandemic and lockdown measures have researchers feeling isolated from their peers and their institutions. Networking and socialising with other people in the field is a fundamental part of your academic journey, but the pandemic has prevented this for so many of us. This Zoom Social will help correct this by providing researchers with the opportunity to link up, discuss their projects and share our ideas. It will also give you a muchneeded break from your busy schedules.

All Oral Historians welcome! Come and tell us about your project and keep up with the community.

Link to the social on Eventbrite:


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 13th October and Friday 14th 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 13.10.22 - 14.10.22

SOHC Intro Training Day Registration Form 13.10.22 - 14.10.22



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.


Introduction to remote interviewing for oral historians

Remote interviewing (online or phone) has been thrust into more prominence as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is a complex issue which divides oral historians and archivists. Remote interviewing can mean a poorer audio quality interview for archiving and many oral historians experience difficulties developing rapport with the narrator. There are also technical issues and competencies to navigate and issues around data protection, privacy and security for your narrator. But should researchers now be routinely offering the option of a remote interview to potential narrators who may be concerned about possible contagion in a face-to-face interview? There is a disability justice argument in providing as wide an access to our interviewing projects as possible and not potentially excluding participants from disabled and other marginalised communities. This SOHC training half-day discusses these issues, enabling a more informed decision on remote vs in-person interviewing.  

SOHC Online Training Workshop Programme - Remote Interviewing 14 June 2022

SOHC Online Remote Training Registration Form - 14 June 2022

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; Montreal, online, June 2021).

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 some of which are currently being digitised and catalogued prior to migration to the University Archives where the majority of the SOHC interviews and some other donated collections are archived - see .  Please contact Arthur McIvor for more information, or the University Archivist, Victoria Peters on

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