Oral history

Last updated:  22 March 2024

Oral history is the recording of people’s unique life experiences in an interview format.

Oral history complements the more traditional forms of history making such as written histories and biographies and preserves for future generations a sound portrait of who we are in the present and what we remember about the past. It also preserves voices and accents representative of different time periods and social backgrounds.



Amplify is a crowdsourcing platform where NSW public libraries can temporarily place digital audio materials from their collections paired with machine-generated transcripts to engage people in the community to help correct any errors in the transcripts. Once completed, your audio materials and newly corrected transcripts can be moved off Amplify to a permanent location of your choice, such as your library management system or library website.

Professional development

  • Learn about local studies in Module 8 of the Reference Excellence training
  • Sign up to the PL Portal online training platform to access a range of short courses and mini modules.
  • Visit our YouTube channel to access webinars and training videos on a range of topics relating to public libraries.
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Join the Local Studies working group and email list to connect with other library staff interested in oral history.