Core Classroom: Hearing the Story: Creating an Oral History Project

Course Start/End Dates: February 6 - March 3, 2023

Format: 4-week virtual workshop that consists of weekly live virtual group discussions followed by homework to do on your own each week. 

Presenter: Jeanne Drewes & Liza Hazelwood


This course will take participants through the beginning to end process of creating an oral history project. Starting with the interview process, going through all the steps involved with processing, and talking about the finished product, this course outlines everything from the process side to the technological side. By the end of the course, participants will be able to devise interview questions, use different forms of technology to interview, log interviews, and create and assign controlled vocabulary.


The live sessions will be held over Zoom. The participant will need access to some sort of recording device, whether it be a mobile phone or a sound recording device or the microphone in the computer.

 Classroom Objectives:

Upon completion of this course attendees will be able to:

  • Formulate a cogent oral history interview process, determine forms needed, and develop questions to ask interviewees regarding a particular project
  • Successfully process the recordings, audio and video, and create indexing and brief descriptions for easy search and retrieval
  •  Understand what is required for uploading and making public the interviews for their community, interested researchers, and the public
  • Create their own independent oral history project.


Students receive login instructions one week prior to the classroom start date.  Students have 24/7 access to the class site for the duration of the class, and aside from assignment deadlines, the work can be completed at their own pace.  Presenters will have office hours to provide guidance and feedback as students work their way through the material.  The following list of live virtual discussion sessions, moderated by the presenters are the only live class events that students are asked to attend:

·       Tuesday, February 14, 2:00pm – 3:00pm Central Time

·       Tuesday, February 21, 2:00pm – 3:00pm Central Time

·       Tuesday, February 28, 2:00pm – 3:00pm Central Time

·       Tuesday, March 7, 2:00pm – 3:00pm Central Time


Jeanne Drewes has been active in ALA for over forty years and has conducted over forty interviews which are available on the ALAIR for both binders and preservation librarians. She has received numerous ALA awards including the Ken Haycock Award and most recently the ALCTS Ross Atkinson lifetime achievement award.

Liza Hazelwood is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University and interned with Jeanne at the Library of Congress on the processing and uploading of the ALA Preservation Librarian oral history files. She is a Collections Care Technician at VCU Libraries. She is also a documentary filmmaker. Her thesis film on mending, Darn It!, is available at:

To listen to the ALA Preservation Librarian oral histories, go to:

All registrants must be able to attend the live zoom sessions and complete the assignments to receive the certificate of completion.

Online: Complete the individual webinar online registration form. Sessions are listed by date, and you must log in.

By phone: 1-800-545-2433 (press 1 to reach our customer service representatives)

By mail: To register by check or purchase order, please email Our registration department will send you a registration form.

Core Code of Conduct: Please review the Statement of Conduct before registering.

Tech Requirements: 

A computer with Internet access and a Google Drive account is required.  A high-speed connection and headphones are recommended.

For questions about registration: contact ALA Registration at 1-800-545-2433 and press 1 or email

For questions or comments, please contact Tom Ferren at