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Interpreting Memories: An Advanced Oral History Workshop

  • Macquarie Room, State Library of NSW Macquarie Street Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia (map)

Presented by Oral History NSW and the State Library of NSW

How do we make sense of the memories that we record as oral historians? How do we begin to transform stories into histories? In this workshop with oral historian Alistair Thomson we’ll consider a range of ways of approaching the interpretation of memories.

We’ll note the changing ways that researchers have used memory as a historical source and consider the factors that shape memory stories. We’ll try out narrative analysis with interview extracts (from Al’s interviews with migrants and war veterans) using the rich clues of sound, gesture, word and narrative form. You’ll finish up brimming with ideas and enthusiasm for working with your own interviews (or other people’s interviews), armed with lists of further reading if you wish to deepen your understanding.

This interactive workshop with one of the world’s leading experts in oral history is suitable for people who have some experience of oral history interviewing and who would like to deepen their skills in interpreting and analysing recorded interviews.

This workshop is now fully subscribed.
To be placed on a waiting list (in case anyone cancels) please email


Workshop facilitator: Alistair Thomson is Professor of History at Monash University. His oral history books include: Anzac Memories (1994 and 2013), The Oral History Reader (1998, 2006 and 2015 with Rob Perks), Ten Pound Poms (2005, with Jim Hammerton), Moving Stories: an intimate history of four women across two countries (2011) Oral History and Photography (2011, with Alexander Freund) and Australian Lives: An Aural History (2017, with Anisa Puri). Website:

When: Saturday 24th August 2019, 10.30am – 1.30pm (Registration from 10am).
Where: Macquarie Room, State Library of NSW, Macquarie Street, Sydney.
Cost: $70 (Oral History NSW members); $80 (General)
Contact: For enquiries email or phone 02 8094 1239.