Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research


We link below to various sites and institutions associated with the Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research, sorted by country. Please click on a heading to reveal links for a particular country.

  • IABA

    The International AutoBiography Association is an interdisciplinary international group founded in 1999 to create a way for researchers and cultural producers in the field of biography, autobiography and life writing to share their work. Since 2000, members of IABA have run an international conference every two years in locations which have included China, Canada, Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. IABA does not have a formal membership process. It has a free listserve which informs its members about upcoming conferences, publications and other events connected to the study of autobiography, life writing and biography. To join the IABA list-serve, please contact Craig Howes on craighow@hawaii.edu or biograph@hawaii.edu 
    Center for Biographical Research, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
    On Facebook: facebook.com/CBRHawaii  
     IABA comprises the three following networks:

  • IABA Europe Life writing organisations in Europe. Here you find an overview of research institutions, archives, networks and other organisations on (aspects of) life writing in Europe. You can view the list in alphabetical order, but you can also select organisations in a specific country or make a selection based on keywords.

  • IABA Chapter of the Americas  The goals of the International Auto/Biography Association – Chapter of the Americas are to foster the participation of scholars from the Americas within the International Auto/Biography Association (IABA) while building research networks and supporting partnerships between scholars in the Western Hemisphere. The chapter accomplishes this work by organizing biennial conferences and facilitating contacts and collaborations through this website. The Americas Chapter of IABA was founded at the conference, “Auto/Biography across the Americas: Reading beyond Geographic and Cultural Divides,” held from 22-25 July 2013 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. A second conference is currently being organized for 2015 on the campus of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

  • IABA SNS  Life Writing Graduate Student and New Scholar Network. This is a network of graduate students and new scholars interested in life writing practice and scholarship. It  is dedicated to facilitating intercollegiate and international discourse and collaboration through three primary strategies: Original Content, Collegiate Events and Social Media.

  • The Global Lives Project is a volunteer-based creative collaboration focused on the cultivation of empathy across cultures. They curate an ever-expanding collection of films that faithfully capture 24 continuous hours in the life of individuals from around the world. They celebrate the diversity of human experience through the study and exploration of culture, status, ethnicity, language, and religion.

  • The International Oral History Association provides a forum for oral historians around the world and a means for cooperation among those concerned with the documentation and interpretation of human experience. IOHA stimulates research that uses the techniques of oral history and promotes the development of standards and principles for the collection and preservation of oral histories. IOHA seeks to foster a better understanding of the democratic nature and value of oral history worldwide.

  • The European Network on Theoryand Practice of Biography. The goal of the ENTPB is to create an international and interdisciplinary forum to allow reflection about theoretical and methodological problems regarding biographic writing and research.

  • PANOS  An international communications organisation that represents people in developing countries. Panos London publishes oral testimonies from around the world. See in particular:  Mountain voices: This website presents interviews with over 300 people who live in mountain and highland regions round the world. Their testimonies offer a personal perspective on change and development." A project initiated by the Panos Oral Testimony Programme. Can be searched by country and/or by theme.

  • The HRC Biography Institute
    The Australian National University
    The HRC Biography Institute has been established in order to encourage and promote biographical work of various kinds -- including autobiography, memoir, life-writing -- and in various media.
  • The Life Writing Research Unit
    Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia
    This site contains information about the Unit, its seminars, and the Life Writing journal.
  • The Life Writing Site
    Designed to act as a free public archive of life writing articles and book reviews and to showcase work in life writing.
    Unit for Studies in Biography and Autobiography
  • LaTrobe University, Bundoora
    Contains information about recent and future activities of the Unit; its history, structure, and funding; and postgraduate applications.
  • The Australian National University
    The National Centre of Biography at The Australian National University was established in 2008 to extend the work of the Australian Dictionary of Biography and to serve as a focus for the study of life writing in Australia, supporting innovative research and writing to the highest standards in the field, nationally and internationally.  
  • Oral History Australia (OHAA)                                                                                                                                                               The Oral History Association of Australia (OHAA) was formed in 1978 and in 2013 was re-named Oral History Australia (OHA). It remains a non-profit body whose members practise and promote oral history. There are member branches in each state, with the Northern Territory being affiliated with South Australia and the ACT with New South Wales.
  • Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the History and Theory of Biography
    The Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for the History and Theory of Biography was founded in April 2005 and comprises an international team of 10 researchers. The main critical focus is on the methods of modern biographical writing. Drawing on insights from social science, literary theory, anthropology and gender theory, the institute is developing a comprehensive theory of the genre biography. In addition, work is in progress on five scholarly biographies of exponents of Austrian Modernism: Hugo von Hofmannsthal, Eugenie Schwarzwald, Leopold von Andrian, Thomas Bernhard and Ernst Jandl. The work of the Institute contributes to the dynamic and interdisiplinary field of biographical research while reflecting critically on different approaches to biography and on the assumptions underlying biographical writing.
  • Oral History and Life Stories Network
    The Oral History and Life Stories Network has become the major regular international forum for European oral history and life story researchers. The European Social Science History Conference has been held biannually since 1996 and the Oral History and Life Stories network has met at each conference since 1998. Oral History and Life Stories is currently one of the largest, friendliest and most popular networks of the European Social Science Conference. Please see the ESSHC website for further information on the conference.
  • The Biography Society of China
  • Lingnan University Life Writing Research Program
    Founded in 2007, the Lingnan University Life Writing Research Program (LWRP) aims to establish Lingnan as an international centre for studies in Eastern and Western life writing. Though based in the English Department, LWRP is an interdisciplinary facility which welcomes participation from and collaboration with all areas of the university.
  • "Inhabiting Multiple Worlds: Auto/biography in an (Anti)global Age"
    Chinese University of Hong Kong , Hong Kong , 15-20 March 2004
    Contains a detailed four day program and other information about Fourth International Auto/Biography Association (IABA) Conference.
  • The Shanghai Jiao Tong University Center for Life Writing was founded in January 2012. 'The Center aims to fulfill the urgent need of the society for biography industry as well as to develop the domestic culture of biography. By conducting pervasive research on biography, the Center will establish a modern course of biography.'

  • European Life Story Archive
    Site includes many links to archives throughout Europe. Online archive under onstruction as of January 2001.
  • Life-story materials in the folklore archives
    In 1926 Kaarle Krohn proposed at the annual meeting of the Finnish Literature Society that it might be a good idea to ask people to recall real events, above all stages and personal experiences in their own lives, in addition to folk tales, sayings and legends. “Even a life seemingly devoid of outward distinction may be endowed with spiritual values, and these should, if possible, be given expression by the persons described themselves”, he said. By the closing decades of the 19th century a band of amateur collectors, local observers, was already forming as a major aid to the nascent discipline now known as folkloristics. This prompted the oft-quoted notion of “the nation side by side with the scholars”. Decades were, however, to pass before any move was made to take up the idea cast out by Krohn, for scholars continued to be interested primarily in crystallised folklore and genres rather than the lives of the people who narrated them.
  • Académie pour l'autobiographie et l'art populaire
  • Autopacte 
  • Written almost entirely in French and covering auto/biographical studies mainly in France, this site includes a general bibliography of studies of auto/biography; recent works; theses in progress in French universities; studies of the personal journal from 1938 to the present; a list of personal journals published since 1997; list of journals devoted auto/biography in French, English, German, Spanish, and Italian; lists of guides to writing autobiography in French and English; lists of bibliographies of autobiographies in German, English, Danish, Spanish, French, French, Italian, Dutch, Polish, and Russian; lists of online diaries in English, German, French, and Swedish; lists of recent and upcoming conferences in mainly in France; and names and addresses of specialized bookstores in Paris. Maintained by Philippe Lejeune.
  • Association interdisciplinaire de recherche sur l'epistolairé (l' AIRE)
    The official site of l'AIRE, containing such sections as Accueil", "Présentation", "La revue", "Activités", and "Liens partenaires".
  • Projet Ipséité
    A bibliographic database which keeps intimate diaries and notebooks published or translated into French.
  • Association pour l'Autobiographie

  • Centre for Public History (CPH)

    Established in 2011, the Centre for Public History (CPH) works on public history, community history and institutional history by creating archives and by engaging with oral history practice and pedagogy in an Indian context.

  • Fondazione Archivio Diaristico Nazionale Onlus
    In Italian, the site describes the Foundation's many activities, including its archive and journal, Primapersona.
  • www.archiviodiari.it/default.htm
    Pieve Santo Stefano is a town in Tuscany which borders on Umbria and Romagna. For seventeen years, in each of the four entries of the town, there has been a big yellow sign-board, together with the official toponomy, where is written “The Town of the Diary”. Infact, in the townhall of Pieve Santo Stefano, there are public archives where autobiographic writings are gathered up. These texts are written by common people. There are diaries, letters, memoirs of one's own existence which show everybody's life and also Italian history. Pieve Santo Stefano, a little village in the Tuscan and Emilian Apennines, was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War. The townhall, with its “L” shape, like an open book on a reading desk, and with its armorial bearings, was one of the few buildings which was not destroyed. Forty years after the war, a “house of memory” rose in one of the wings of the townhall. It is a public centre which keeps personal memoirs about one's own life. Also some foreign scholars have been interested in this enterprise. The Archives not only keep, like a museum, popular writings; they also improve their richness in different ways. First, we defined the Archives “the bank of memory”. Now, we call them “nursery”, because the Archives make the past writings revive, as sprouts which spring up in every season. So, new interests in autobiographic writings continuosly rise. First of all, we thought about a prize to increase the number of the texts. We published in some newspapers brief advertisements; a weekly magazine interviewed the director of the Archives. In few weeks, more than hundred texts and collections of letters were sent to the Archives.
  • The Libera University of Autobiography of Anghiari (Arezzo-Italy)
    The Libera University of Autobiography of Anghiari (Arezzo-Italy) is a non-profit cultural association founded in 1998 by Professor Duccio Demetrio (Professor of Philosophy of Education and Narrative and Autobiographic techniques at the University of Milan-Bicocca) and the journalist Saverio Tutino (founder of the National Diaristic Archive in Pieve S. Stefano- Arezzo).
United Kingdom
  • And so made significant... The world’s greatest online anthology of diary extracts is presented by calendar day, in the same way as popular books such as The Assassin’s Cloak and The Faber Book of DiariesHowever, this anthology includes more (over 2,000), and many longer, extracts than is possible in a published book. For each quoted extract there is a link to a Diary Review article with: further extracts, biographical information, contexts, a portrait, and links to online sources/etexts.
  • British Library - National Sound Archive. Details of the National Sound Archive's oral history holdings and projects.
  • British Libray - Oral History links
    Website links to oral history organisations, archives and projects in the UK and abroad, and websites covering Holocaust oral history, academic resources, technical services and general interest, compiled by the British Library.
  • British Sociological Association Auto/Biography Study Group
    The study group publishes the Auto/Biography Yearbook in addition to running regular conferences.
  • The Centre for Narrative & Auto/Biographical Studies, Edinburgh
    The Centre for Narrative & Auto/Biographical Studies (NABS) is an interdisciplinary virtual research centre at the University of Edinburgh. NABS brings together people interested in all aspects of narrative and all forms of auto/biographical representation, from talk to transcribed text, from photographs to memorial sites, from verbal introductions to hagiography, from letters and cards to friends to memoirs and autobiographies, from obituaries to painted portraits, from academic biography to sculpture, and more.
  • Centre for Gender Studies, University of Sussex
    Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary subject taught across many of the Schools within the University. Sussex boasts a broad field of expertise in this subject, which makes for fresh and innovative content and a variety of approaches to teaching and learning. The Centre for Gender Studies, which draws all this expertise together, is based in the School of Law, Politics and Sociology.
  • The Centre for Research in Memory, Narrative and Histories. University of Brighton.
    Drawing on long-standing research strengths in humanities, arts and social sciences at the University of Brighton, the Centre for Research in Memory, Narrative and Histories brings together researchers with related and complementary interests, providing a focus for research development and a platform for engagement with the wider academic community.
  • The Diary Review. The History Press has just published Brighton in Diaries, a collection of diary extracts about the city, one of Britain’s most vibrant seaside resorts.
  • digistories - Digital Storytelling
    digistories is owned by Barrie Stephenson. He set up the business after successfully pioneering digital storytelling for the BBC with a major television and internet project called Telling Lives.
  • The George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling at the University of Glamorgan
  • Historical Manuscript Commission
    A gateway site to manuscript archives in Britain, with extensive links to non-U.K. archives and related websites worldwide. If you are looking for the location of life histories or auto/biographical manuscripts in English or other languages, this is a good place to begin searching.
  • The History Press. This fascinating collection of extracts contains diarists famous and ordinary, young and old, serious and cynical, but with Brighton always setting the scene.
  • Oral History Society 
    For more than thirty years the Oral History Society has played a leading role in the development of oral history, both in Britain and internationally. It is dedicated to the collection and preservation of oral history, and to making this accessible to everyone. 
  • Oral History Review (Oxford Journals)
    The Oral History Review, published by the Oral History Association, is the U.S. journal of record for the theory and practice of oral history. Its primary mission is to explore the nature and significance of oral history and advance understanding of the field among scholars, educators, practitioners, and the general public.
  • Oxford Centre for Life-Writing (OCLW)
    The Oxford Centre for Life-Writing exists to encourage those who write biography and memoir, and those who undertake research on life-narratives. It is directed by renowned biographer Professor Hermione Lee and co-directed by postcolonial scholar Professor Elleke Boehmer, and is based at Wolfson College, Oxford. Through events and a dynamic virtual presence, we aim to bring together scholars, students and practitioners, nationally and internationally, within and outside academia, who share an interest in life-writing.
  • QueenSpark Books - Brighton's fantastic collective community life history and life writing publisher 
    QueenSpark Books began in 1972; as part of a campaign to stop a casino being built in the Queens Park area of Brighton, a book was published detailing one person's long life in the area. The company then became part of a wider political and social movement at the time, chiefly concerned with publishing working class writing and life histories. In subsequent years this mission expanded to include creative writing, and in latter years the mission to enable 'lesser-heard voices' to be heard has resulted in books about and with Brighton & Hove's Sudanese and Bangladeshi communities, homeless people and refugees. The website has archived the text from all of the 89 titles published, and made it fully searchable. Associations with the University of Sussex, particularly the CCE and Life History departments, has always been strong. Many staff, including ex-Director Dr Alistair Thomson and current co-Director Margaretta Jolly, have been involved in QueenSpark's Management Committee, and Dr Thomson worked on a lot of the earlier QueenSpark titles. Director of Mass Observation, Dorothy Sheridan, also sits on the Committee. In addition, many tutors and students have either accessed the University courses via an initial association with QueenSpark, or have become involved with QueenSpark as a result of their studies.
  • The Mass-Observation Archive
    Explains the Archive, a collection of writing by ordinary people about their experiences gathered from 1937 to 1949 and resumed in 1981. Includes detailed descriptions of the holdings, finding aids, and information on the Archives' origins. Based at the University of Sussex.
  • Museum Crush
    Latest news, exhibition reviews, links, museum and gallery event listings and education resources from thousands of UK museums, art galleries, heritage sites, archives and libraries, all in one place..
  • National Sound Archive - Oral History Home Page
    Describes the work of the British Library's National Sound Archives, which "collects audio and videotaped interviews as well as carrying out its own programme of life story recordings." Includes a multitude of links to Oral History groups worldwide.
  • Oral History Society
    Provides information about oral history, its uses, the Society, its conferences, the Oral History Journal, its other publications, and email contact. The Society is based in the Sociology Department at Essex University. 
  • The Society of Genealogists                                                                                                                                                            Founded in 1911 the Society of Genealogists (SoG) is Britain’s premier family history society. The Society maintains a splendid genealogical library and education centre in Clerkenwell in London.
  • Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies
    Provides information about oral history, its uses, the Society, its conferences, the Oral History Journal, its other publications, and email contact. The Society is based in the Sociology Department at Essex University. 
  • Testimony Films was formed in 1992 by producer, director and writer Steve Humphries. He was formerly a lecturer in history and sociology at the University of Essex and a producer at LWT: he was described by Broadcast magazine as “the king of oral history”
  • University of Sussex Journal of Contemporary History
    A refereed online journal of inter-disciplinary contemporary historical research by members of the post-graduate and early post-doctoral community.
  • Using Archives to Teach Gender (University of Leeds)This website offers a resource database with images and descriptions of over 150 artefacts and documents that relate to gender and feminism, and belong to the collections of the Feminist Archive North and the Marks & Spencer Company Archive.This website was designed to serve as a useful resource for lecturers and teachers who teach sessions or modules on gender and feminism, at all levels of study, and also for students working on these topics.
  • Women's Royal Voluntary Services Heritage Plus Project
    An important Heritage Lottery funded community oral history/reminiscence project. The Centre for Life History and Life Writing Research has worked closely with this project.
United States