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If you are new to using oral history/life histories as part of your research or are starting a community project which uses oral history/life histories, the OHN can provide guidance on oral history training and practice (interviewing, equipment, transcribing, archiving, ethics and paperwork, etc). As part of Warwick's university community, we can look to source volunteers to help on projects from amongst the student body. We are also keen to hear from you about projects which might form the basis of one of our termly seminar events. Our Research page shows some of the projects we have showcased at events and/or have provided assistance to.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch about your project:

The rest of this page offers a range of useful resources and links.

Suggested Introductory Reading

The following books provide a good introduction into the field of oral history. Most can be found in the Warwick library and their shelf reference is listed alongside their title.

  • Abrams, Lynn, Oral History Theory (2nd ed.), (Routledge, London, 2016) [1st edition only available as E-book]

  • Frisch, Michael H., A Shared Authority: Essays on the Craft and Meaning of Oral and Public History, (State University of New York Press, Albany, 2011) [available via Document Supply request]
  • Janesick, Valerie J., Oral History for the Qualitative Researcher, (Guilford Press, New York, 2010) [D 16.253.J26]

  • Perks, Robert, Thomson, Alistair (eds), The Oral History Reader, (3rd ed.) (Routledge, London, 2016) [D16.14.O76 and E-book]

  • Portelli, Alessandro, The Death of Luigi Trastulli and Other Stories: Form and Meaning in Oral History, (State University of New York Press, Albany, 1991) [D 16.253.P6 and E-book]
  • Ritchie, Donald A., The Oxford Handbook of Oral History, (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011) [available as an E-book]

  • Thompson, Paul, Bornat, Joanna, The Voice of the Past: Oral History (4th ed.), (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2017) [D16.14.T48 and E-book]

  • Yow, Valerie Raleigh, Recording Oral History: a Guide for the Humanities and Social Sciences (3rd ed.), (Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, 2015) [D16.14.Y68]

Academic Journals

Oral History (journal of the Oral History Society)

Oral History Forum (journal of the Canadian Oral History Association)

Oral History Review (journal of the Oral History Association)


Oral History Training

The Oral History Society offers a range of training courses, many of which are held at the British Library in London. These range from a beginners Introduction to Oral History through to specific courses on archiving records, transcribing and more.

In Spring 2012, Warwick Oral History Network offered an introductory training course for oral historians, addressing the following key elements of planning an oral history project:

  • Planning an oral history project
  • Ethics
  • Interviewing and recording
  • Transcribing and archiving
  • Using archived collections

The reading list for the course can be accessed here.

In 2015, a further course on analysing and interpreting oral history was run, the reading list for which can be accessed here.


Return to the Oral History Network home page