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 eight additional staff: Dr Eleanor Bell, Dr Alison Chand, Prof Phil Cooke, Dr Laura Kelly, Dr Emma Newlands, Dr Jesse Olszynko-Gryn, Prof Matt Smith, Dr Angela Turner. There are fourteen current Masters and 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

Next SOHC Seminar: Information on the SOHC seminar series for 2019-20 will be provided here when the schedule is finalised over the summer

Oral History Training

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. 

The next SOHC training day is an "Introduction to Oral History" day which seeks to introduce oral history methodology, technology, interviewing practise, transcribing and summarising, and ethics/legal cosiderations to anyone looking to utilise oral history interviewing and/or analysis. It is scheduled for Fri 13 Sept 2019. See the documents below for more information and to register.

SOHC Programme 13.09.19

SOHC Registration Form 13.09.19

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