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

Wednesday 16th November (online only)

FILM SCREENING: Stories from the Villages

The Lost Villages presents as part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022 an online screening of archive footage of Ayrshire mining villages edited with some stories collected by the project so far. There will be a short introduction to the Lost Villages project. We are delighted to have music from Ayrshire musician Seán Gray and poetry from Scots poet Rab Wilson who are currently working on a new collaboration based on mining heritage of Ayrshire.

To register: Stories from the Miner’s Rows of East Ayrshire, Scotland Tickets, Wed, Nov 16, 2022 at 6:30 PM | Eventbrite


Monday 21st November, 4-6pm

Roundtable: Reflections on oral history interviewing during the Covid-19 pandemic (hybrid)

Join us either in person or online to share our experiences of oral history interviewing during the pandemic. We will be thinking about what went well, what was tricky and what can we take forward from these experiences.


Our panellists are Cathrine Hasselberg an oral historian in Norway for the Norwegian oral history association, Memoar She has recently published a book, VIRUS - stories from the corona pandemic. Dr Rachel Meach is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of the West of Scotland currently working on a NIHR -funded project on long COVID. Dr Alison Chand is a Research Associate at the SOHC and a lecturer in History at the University of the Highlands and Islands. She is currently undertaking research Into how parents with young children are experiencing the Covid-19 pandemic.

To register for online only: Roundtable: Reflections on oral history interviewing during Covid-19 Tickets, Mon 21 Nov 2022 at 16:00 | Eventbrite


Monday 12th December,

BOOK LAUNCH: Dr Andy Clark, Fighting Deindustrialisation: Scottish Women’s Factory Occupations, 1981-1982 (Liverpool University Press)

We are delighted to host a book launch for Dr Andy Clark’s new book Fighting Deindustrialisation. The outlines and examines one of the most significant and under-researched periods in modern Scottish labour history. Over a fourteen month period in 1981 and 1982, as Scotland suffered the effects of the accelerated deindustrialisation of its economy, three workforces refused to accept the loss of their jobs. The predominantly women assembly workers occupied their factories and refused to vacate until their demands were met and closure avoided. At all sites this objective was achieved; none of the factories completely closed following the women’s occupations.


Join us either online or in person to hear about Dr Clark’s research.


To register online only: Book Launch: Fighting Deindustrialisation by Andy Clark Tickets, Mon 12 Dec 2022 at 18:00 | Eventbrite


All in person events are held in the Scottish Oral History Centre, Rm 222, Graham Hills Building, 40 George Street, University of Strathclyde. Refreshments provided.



All welcome!

Scottish Oral History Centre | University of Strathclyde

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 30th March and Friday 31st March 2023 at 9:30am - 1:00pm. More information can be found in the programme below along with the registration form. 


SOHC Intro Training Day Programme 30.03.2023 - 31.03.2023

SOHC Intro Training Day Registration Form 30.03.2023 - 31.03.2023


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.  

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