Lord Mayor's Certificate in Oral History, 2017-2018

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Oral HistoryThe Lord Mayor’s Certificate in Oral History is offered by Dublin City Council as part of its commitment to life-long learning. The course will equip participants with skills in the preparation and conduct of oral history projects, including best practice in the collection and archiving of oral history interviews. It examines the wealth of recorded oral narrative sources in Ireland in both oral history and folklore. Commencing in Sept 2017 the Lord Mayor’s Certificate in Oral History will be taught at Dublin City Library & Archive,138–144 Pearse Street, Dublin 2.  Classes are held on Monday evenings to facilitate attendance by a broad range of people. 

** The deadline for applications is 5.00pm on Friday 15th September 2017 **


Course Aims

The course give participants formal and practical training in how to prepare oral history projects, conduct and transcribe interviews and present oral history research. Participants will develop writing and presentation skills and learn how to locate their research within broader historical and cultural contexts.

Course Duration

The course consists of 70 hours part-time from September2017 to April 2018. This comprises 65 hours of class-based tuition and two visits to archive services in the Dublin area.

Course Venue

The Certificate in Oral History will be taught at Dublin City Library & Archive in Pearse Street. Dublin City Library &Archive consists of the Dublin & Irish Local Studies Library, along with the Dublin City Archives, which together contain historic collections of civic and national importance, providing unique and unrivalled public access to all aspects of Dublin’s multi-faceted history.

Course Content

A. Introduction to Oral History
This module will introduce participants to the key concepts and methodologies in oral history. It will equip students with essential skills in interviewing techniques and encourage engagement with ethical research issues.
B. Irish History: Sources and Methods
This module will assist students in the contextualisation of their own research projects in an historical and cultural context. It will introduce documentary and other sources for the study of Irish history.
C. Oral Heritage and Memory: Private and Public
This module examines the contribution of oral history to public history and commemoration. Participants are introduced to Irish folklore and a range of public oral history projects from around the world.
D. Seminar Module
A self-directed research module providing assistance in the design and development of students own oral history research.

Admission Requirements

Participants are required to have an interest in oral history together with an indication of capacity to take the course.

Course Assessment Procedures

Participants will be required to:—

Attend a minimum of 80% of classes.

Each participant will be required to:
(i) Prepare and present an oral history research proposal
(ii) Complete a short written secondary source report
(iii) Complete their own oral history research project containing one (minimum) to three (maximum) oral history interviews.

Note: Ethical conduct is treated rigorously throughout the Cert programme and forms an essential part of course assessment

Course Conventions

Conventions in place for the course will include Dublin City Council’s Customer Charter and Code of Conduct for Members of the Public. Copies of both documents are available on request, e-mail cityarchives@dublincity.ie

Course Tutor

The Course Tutor for the Certificate in Oral History at Dublin City Library & Archive will be Dr. Catherine O’Connor. Dr. Catherine O’Connor completed a PhD at the University of Limerick in 2007. She has worked on post-doctoral projects using oral history and has taught oral history in the Dept of History UL, from certificate to post-graduate level. She is a founding Director of the Oral History Network of Ireland (OHNI).

Guest Lecturers/Class Visits

As an important element of the course, a number of guest lecturers are invited to share and discuss their experience of contemporary oral history projects with the class. Visits are organised to museums and cultural centres such as the Dublin Henrietta Street Museum and Richmond Barracks.


— The fee is €550, payable by cheque or bank draft made out to Dublin City Council. Receipts will be issued for all cheques/bank drafts received. The course is subsidised by Dublin City Council; fees charged are essential to cover teaching expenses.
— NOTE: In order for the course to proceed, a minimum of 12 participants will be required. If the course does not proceed, cheques/bank drafts will be refunded.
— An upper limit of 16 participants will apply. Applicants will be given places on a first-come, first-served basis, subject to receipt of completed application form and cheque or bank draft for fees made out to Dublin City Council.
— Please note: At present, tax relief is not allowed by the Revenue Commissioners in respect of fees paid for a one-year course of duration under 100 hours. Fees paid in respect of the Certificate in Oral History are not therefore eligible for tax relief.


Dublin City Council will offer two Bursaries in part-payment of fees for students taking the Certificate in Oral History at Dublin City Library & Archive for the academic year 2017–2018. Persons employed by Dublin City Council or employed by the public service are not eligible for these Bursaries.

Closing date for applications for Bursaries is 5.00pm. on Friday 08 September 2017.


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