Oral History Workshop

Book an Oral History Workshop

Members of the Compensation Employees Union (CEU) organized an Oral History Workshop at the BC Labour Heritage Centre in August, 2016

We all hold valuable knowledge and insights into our lived experiences. All too frequently, this knowledge and our stories are lost, with no record left behind. Throughout British Columbia there is a rich history of working people at risk of being forgotten. Oral history interviews are one way of helping us remember, and we want to help make them happen around the province by providing a workshop to groups interested in starting their own oral history projects.

The BC Labour Heritage Centre’s Oral History Workshop is designed to provide unions, labour groups, and other groups of working people with the basic tools of oral history research, as well as the confidence to use them. It takes a straight-forward, easy-to-follow approach, and encourages participants to consider creating their own oral history projects. It also provides hands-on experience with developing questions, recording short “practice” interviews, and addressing potential issues with this style of research.

Participants will receive a copy of our Oral History Guide. Digital copy available online here.

By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the goals and purpose of oral history research
  • Understand which techniques make a “quality” oral history interview
  • Create their own release form, list of oral history questions
  • Avoid common mistakes in recording interviews
  • Imagine creative ways of communicating information from oral history interviews
  • Feel confident in conducting their own oral history projects

The workshop can accommodate an ideal number of 15-20 participants at one time; alternative arrangements may be made for larger groups. The full-length workshop runs 3 hours in total, including breaks. A shorter version of the workshop is also available, which runs 1 hour and 20 minutes. Participants will be provided with a 10-page guide that accompanies the workshop, along with several accompanying materials. This guide is also available free of charge to the public. 

The workshop is provided free of charge; honorariums for facilitators are welcomed. The Centre is willing to provide travel for workshop facilitators to locations within the Lower Mainland. Interested groups will be responsible for the cost of any travel overnight or otherwise in excess of this.

BOOK A WORKSHOP: [email protected]