The OHA will have pre-conference workshops on Monday, October 19 and Tuesday, October 20. Workshops will cost $40.

Attendees can sign up to attend the workshops, without attending the whole of the conference. Registration information is available here.

Monday, October 19

11:00 AM – 2:30 PM Protect The Value Of Your Labor: Survival Skills for Freelancing in Oral History, Led by Liz Strong

11:00 AM – 2:30 PM An Oral Historian's Guide to Public History, Led by Amanda Tewes

11:00 AM – 2:30 PM Podcasting, Led by Francesca Fenzi

11:00 AM – 2:30 PM Introduction to Oral History, led by Benji de la Piedra

Tuesday, October 20

11:30 AM – 1:30 PM More Than Kickstarter: Grassroots Fundraising as a Sustainable Strategy, Led by Daniel Horowitz

11:30 AM – 1:30 PM An Introduction to Remote Interviewing, Led by OHA's Remote Interviewing Taskforce

11:30 AM – 1:30 PM Photographing People as a Way of Documenting Place, Led by Kate Medley

Protect The Value Of Your Labor: Survival Skills for Freelancing in Oral History

Working in oral history is fraught with requests for unpaid work, tight budgets for ambitious projects, and clients who don't understand oral history ethics. This workshop is designed for aspiring and seasoned freelance oral historians to come together, share their experiences, troubleshoot their concerns, and swap valuable information about fundamental tools and tricks of the trade.

This workshop will cover:

  • The first year in freelancing
  • Understanding your labor rights
  • The structure of a successful work agreement 
  • And figuring out how much to charge

As the title of this workshop suggests, one of the greatest challenges of working in oral history is protecting the value of our labor. Communicating and coordinating with other oral historians is the strongest way to work toward better wages and work environments for all of us. 

Facilitator, Liz Strong, began freelancing a decade ago and is eager to share lessons learned along the way. Participants are also encouraged to come with their own insights and questions to share, and to be ready for discussion.

An Oral Historian's Guide to Public History

This introductory workshop provides an overview of public history and how it intersects and complements the practice of oral history. The workshop will cover important aspects of public-facing oral history work, including: interpretation and respect for narratives, accessibility and audience, technology and various media, documenting and partnering with communities, as well as foundational public history concepts and resources. Additionally, the workshop will include breakout sessions to consider how to incorporate public history into current or future oral history projects, as well as the challenges and opportunities in taking such an approach. In order to fully participate in this portion of the workshop, please bring a project to discuss.

Amanda Tewes is an oral historian with the Oral History Center of The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley. She earned her BA in history from the University of California, Santa Barbara; MA in public history from California State University, Fullerton; and PhD in history from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She previously worked as an oral historian at the San Diego History Center and the Center for Oral and Public History at California State University, Fullerton.


This hands-on workshop is an introduction to the basic tools and techniques for telling compelling audio stories. Participants will learn about the best recording and audio editing equipment, the fundamentals of narrative storytelling, how to integrate audio "scenes" and immersive sound, and other best practices for working with historical or pre-recorded interviews. Oral histories are a rich source of story content; shaping them into audio narratives can bring them to a broader and more diverse audience! This workshop will focus on story structure techniques and workflow specific to working with oral histories. We'll address the entire workflow step-by-step, from generating story ideas, to finding your narrator, writing an audio script, recording and performing voice narration, editing, and integrating other audio (like music or recorded sounds) into your mix.

Introduction to Oral History

This workshop will introduce participants to the fundamental concepts and best practices of oral history interviewing and project design. Special attention will be paid to the humanistic and dialogical spirit of oral history, with which all types of encounter-based projects and research can be imbued. Participants will be exposed to understandings of oral history traditionally promoted by the Oral History Association, as well as important critiques of these approaches, and alternative traditions that continue to broaden and nuance the possibilities of oral history as a co-creative, community-oriented process. The instructor will survey the wide range of outcomes, both public-facing and more intimate, that oral history can produce, and will offer particular guidance on the oral historian's imperative to build, curate, interpret, and accessibly preserve collections of interview-based material. Participants should expect some small group discussion in break-out rooms, and are encouraged to bring their own ideas for their own oral history projects, no matter how embryonic or elaborated.

More Than Kickstarter: Grassroots Fundraising as a Sustainable Strategy

Where does money come from? How do you get it? What's the secret? This workshop solves the riddle of how to get money for your project by focusing on who actually makes donations: individuals of modest means. We will focus on raising money from people who know and who know people you know. The aim is to develop a long-term, sustainable strategy for making your project happen.

An Introduction to Remote Interviewing

Current times have not only created a need for a safe method to continue conducting oral histories, but have caused practitioners to reconsider the place of conducting an interview remotely in our ongoing practice. Using the Oral History Association’s Remote Interviewing Guidelines, this introductory workshop will teach attendees the basics of remote interviewing, including the ethical, methodological, archival, and practical considerations of using a remote format for an interview. Topics will include how to decide when a remote interview is best, how to work with a narrator to select the best platform, how to prepare both interviewer and narrator for a remote interview and other pre-interview considerations, different equipment and platforms available to conduct interviews remotely, and special considerations unique to using remote formats. Throughout the workshop leaders will reference the Oral History Association’s Principles and Best Practices.

Note: For those new to oral history, we recommend you take an introductory workshop before attending this workshop.

Photographing People as a way of Documenting Place

In this workshop, we will explore the way photography can be used in concert with oral history and writing as a way of documenting place and enriching storytelling. In addition to seeing examples of photographs that effectively capture people and place, we will discuss the essential elements of good visual storytelling, with an emphasis on portraiture and building narrative through photo essays.