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Introduction to Oral History


The Oral History Centre provides an Introduction to Oral History workshop series two times per year (or more!), normally in September and January. 


This series provides an overview of the underlying principles of oral history and the practical aspects of undertaking an oral history project. In these workshops you can learn how to: design an oral history project, budget enough time for your project, methods of interviewing, technical skills needed to make quality audio recordings, and how to create complementary text documents that will ensure your project is organized, archivable, and useful to future researchers.


The Introduction to Oral History workshop includes three parts: 

1)      Introduction to Oral History: overview of oral history method including planning your oral history project, budgeting time and money, preparing to interview, and interviewing.

2)      Digital Audio Recording:  how to create high quality digital audio recordings including preferred file formats, microphones and placement and how and where to set up your recorder.

3)      After the Interview: Post processing for archiving and future access, including: organizing your project, transcribing, other useful documents, and software and hardware tools that can help.


Completion of the Introduction to Oral History workshop series is required for Oral History Centre Membership


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How to Digitize Audio Cassettes


Sitting on a pile of old cassettes, reel-to-reels, or other analog media? Wondering how to transfer your interview with a loved one from a cassette to a computer?  This Oral History Centre workshop shows you how to turn your cassettes into high quality digital audio files. You will learn what equipment and software you need, how to set it up, and how to use it to ensure high quality conversion and preservation of your cherished oral history interviews. You will learn how to identify audio quality and describe the material and content of your analog media to ensure it is easily accessed in the future. Once you know how to digitize audio you can use your recordings for creative audio such as podcasts, digital stories, and presentations.


For more information, or to be put on a waiting list for the next time we offer this workshop,  contact us.


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Audio Editing with Audacity


If you would like to edit audio but don’t know where to begin this workshop is for you! Useful for anyone who has creative audio ambitions and limited skills, this workshop covers the very basics. With step-by-step instruction, we will work through the steps of importing files, reducing noise, and arranging vocal and musical elements. By the end of the class you will have created a short audio composition.


Participants who prefer to bring their own computers should download the free, open-source audio editing software Audacity® before the workshop (via: ).


A limited number of OHC Windows laptops are reserved for use during this workshop.


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Field Recording


This OHC advanced workshop is for adventurers who want to record interviews outside of the controlled studio environment. It provides an overview of field recording concepts, equipment and techniques. You will learn how to listen to outdoor soundscapes before you record and tips for coping with adverse conditions. After this workshop you will know how to go about recording sounds and voices outdoors that will be high quality, and usable in your audio/video storytelling projects.  


This workshop is ideal for those who have attended the Digital Audio Recording session of the Introduction to Oral History workshop series or have equivalent experience. Participants should know how to use a digital audio recorder, and how to read levels. This workshop includes an outdoor component and is subject to postponement if there is rain/snow.


This workshop is limited to six participants. 


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Workshop Fees

Individual registration for all Oral History Centre workshops is $500. 


Group Workshops

The Oral History Centre also offers group-workshops for project working groups and organizations. Workshops for groups are normally coordinated by a project leader or coordinator and can include between 5 and 12 participants.


The cost of these workshops begins at $2000, and will vary according to the size of your group and your specific needs. Workshops outside of Winnipeg are subject to the additional costs of travel and accommodation for OHC instructors, and the per diem rates set by the University of Winnipeg.


To arrange a group workshop, please contact us.


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Preferred Rates, Bursaries and Grants

University of Winnipeg Preferred Rates

The Oral History Centre offers a 40% discount on all services, rentals and workshops for University of Winnipeg students, staff, faculty, and alumni. 



The Oral History Centre provides bursaries for workshops, and for service and rental rates. 


To apply for a bursary toward workshop fees, please complete the application and email it to us.


To request a rate reduction for a specific service or rental, please complete the application and email it to us.



The Oral History Centre helpd to fund community-based oral history projects through the Abe and Bertha Arnold Community Fund. To apply for a grant through this programme,  please complete the application and email it to us.


We also encourage those planning a local oral history project to identify local funding opportunities such as the Manitoba Heritage Grants Program.


The Oral History Centre also offers specialized training for project groups and small organizations, which you can arrange in consultation with OHC Staff. We will work with you to create a program that will meet your group’s needs.


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