• Offered by Research School of Humanities and the Arts
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Classification Research
  • Course subject Humanities
  • Areas of interest History, Heritage Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Dr Alexandra Dellios
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in First Semester 2022
    See Future Offerings

This course engages with the critical issues surrounding oral history and heritage, and offers students the practical means to conduct their own oral history projects in a heritage management context. The course responds to calls in the literature to embed oral history in heritage practice, and considers the global trend in heritage legislation to more closely consider intangible heritage and social value in both the identification and management of heritage places and collections.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. engage with current debates (nationally and internationally) around memory and place, and the role of memory in identifying and managing heritage sites and collections;
  2. conduct oral history interviews, with an eye to creating a record of the varied and changing uses and meanings of places over time; and
  3. relate oral history to heritage practice and the heritage management sector, and articulate its attendant ethical implications.

Indicative Assessment

  1. Participant Information Sheet and Consent Form (20) [LO 2,3]
  2. One oral history interview (audio) and interview index (30) [LO 2]
  3. Reflective Essay on oral history method and heritage applicability/heritage values (3000) (40) [LO 1,3]
  4. Presentation (10 minute presentation on your oral history project and connections to heritage management concepts) (10) [LO 1,3]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 36 hours of contact over 12 weeks: 24 hours of lectures and 12 hours of workshop and workshop-like activities.
b) 94 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

Recommended Readings


All required and suggested readings will appear, in some form, on the Wattle page for this course.


Students are encouraged to read widely, and, for their assessment, to read beyond the required reading list. There are set readings for each seminar week, which are listed at the end of this course guide. The following is a list of top recommended readings, most of which we will also discuss in seminars:


Australia ICOMOS. 2000. The Burra Charter: the Australia ICOMOS charter for places of cultural significance: with associated guidelines and code on the ethics of co-existence, Australia ICOMOS, Burwood.

Byrne, Denis, Helen Brayshaw & Tracey Ireland, Social Significance: a discussion paper, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, 2003.

Hamilton, Paula and Linda Shopes. Oral History and Public Memories. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2008.

Hutchison, M and P Grist, ‘Building on experience: the potential of oral history to conserve the ‘deep city’ in Australia’s national capital’, Deep Cities Routledge, 201?

Perks, R. and Thomson, A., 2015. The oral history reader. Third Edition. Milton Park, Abingdon: Routledge.

Pocock, Celmara, David Collett, and Linda Baulch. "Assessing stories before sites: identifying the tangible from the intangible." International Journal of Heritage Studies 21, no. 10 (2015): 962-982.

Prinsen, D., “Oral history and attachment to place in cultural heritage management: A case study of the shack community at Era, Royal National Park, NSW.” Oral History Association of Australia Journal 35 (2013).

Thomson, Alistair. “Four Paradigm Transformations in Oral History.” The Oral History Review, 34, no. 1 (2007): 49-70.


Recommended Resources – Recording Equipment and Standards


For recording


I will try to make digital recording equipment available via ANU and the School of Archaeology and Anthropology, but this equipment will need to be shared/on rotation while you’re conducting oral history interviews. If you are working with an institution/library they may also have recording equipment available for you to use—please check this. Alternatively, if you have your own recording equipment, you may use that. Ensure the sound quality is of a high standard.


If you wish for your recording to be deposited and archived by an institution, be aware that they may have format restrictions (WAV not Mp3) and stricter sound quality standards (eg. using your phone will not work for these purposes). Please confirm what these standards and restrictions are before conducting any interviews.


Oral History NSW offer very useful guidelines and suggestions on recording equipment, software and storage options: https://www.oralhistorynsw.org.au/equipment 

For editing audio


(Cutting bits/rearranging etc): Audacity is free open access software and reasonably easy to use. Audacity (free at https://sourceforge.net/projects/audacity/ )


For transcription


While you are not expected to write a full transcript of your interview, you are expected to write a timed/logged summary/index. If you would like to have a go at transcribing yourself, the following is free and easy to use: Express Scribe (free from NCH website: https://www.nch.com.au/scribe/index.html


Preliminary Reading

Tb uploaded on to Wattle


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2022 $3840
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2022 $5700
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
3415 21 Feb 2022 28 Feb 2022 31 Mar 2022 27 May 2022 In Person View

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