Oral History Summer Institute

Be part of the inaugural Oral History Summer Institute at the Centre for Oral History & Tradition!

IMPORTANT: In line with best safety practices during the COIVD-19 pandemic, the 2021 Oral History Summer Institute will be held virtually.

The Oral History Summer Institute is designed for participants to get hands-on experience with oral history project design, recording technology, and interview techniques. Whether you are starting your first oral history project, or you are ready to enhance your skills as an oral history interviewer, the Summer Institute’s combination of instructional, workshop, and feedback sessions has something to offer participants at a variety of levels and interests. The Institute welcomes anyone interested in oral history, including family historians and genealogists, public/community historians, researchers, community organizers, students, and academics.

Participants will meet weekly, learn about oral history methods and theories, workshop practical oral history skills, and hear from practising oral historians and esteemed guest speakers. The Summer Institute is also designed for participants to get feedback on interview questions, consent forms, project organization, and many other features that are part of conducting oral history.

All participants will receive a digital certificate of completion from the Oral History Summer Institute.


The Oral History Summer Institute will meet weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00-3:45PM (MST) from May 4-June 14, 2021. 

Some of these meeting times will be optional. One day per week will be dedicated to course instruction and one day a week will be dedicated to an optional peer feedback and workshop session.

We will release a more detailed schedule before the course begins. 


In line with best safety practices during the COIVD-19 pandemic, the 2021 Oral History Summer Institute will be held virtually.

Want to participate in the OHSI but can’t make the class times?

All of the instructional lectures and guest speakers visits will be recorded and available on the course website until June 21st when the University of Lethbridge Summer Session closes.

These recorded sessions will not include the optional weekly zoom workshops.

The course website will also include an online discussion forum for participants to discuss course material together. Participation in the online forum is not mandatory or monitored by the course instructor. Rather it is a space for participants to discuss ideas, whether they participate in the synchronous lectures or via posted recordings.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course each student should be able to:

  • Design a small oral history project from start to finish;
  • Understand foundational oral history theory about memory, narrative, and researcher-narrator relationships;
  • Understand and carry out foundational ethics requirements of oral history interviewing;
  • Create a consent form that protects both your project and the interviewee;
  • Know how to record an interview on a variety of platforms including a digital recorder, a cell phone, or via online video chat software (like zoom);
  • Identify ideal interview environments;
  • Thoughtfully apply oral history theory and methods to address a variety of narrators’ needs, requests, concerns, and backgrounds;
  • Transcribe an interview;
  • Create and use a metadata spreadsheet;
  • Understand how to donate interviews and transcripts to an archives;
  • Develop a publication or dissemination plan for your oral history project.

Each participant will need

  • Access to a recording device, like a digital recorder or smartphone with a recording app. 

Registration (opens March 16, 2021)

Early Bird Registration (until April 9th): $340

Registration (April 10th to April 23rd): $380

Students and Seniors Discount: $295



Do you have questions about the COHT Oral History Summer Institute?

Contact Karissa Patton, Director, Oral History Summer Institute.