Life and Times of Brompton Cemetery (London)


We are looking for volunteers interested in the stories of Brompton Cemetery as part of the Brompton Cemetery Conservation Project.  We have spent the past year researching some of the 205,000 people buried in Brompton Cemetery, producing a list of notable highlights, and now wish to explore the living memory of the cemetery, through the ‘Life and Times of Brompton Cemetery’ oral history project.
We invite interested volunteers to work with professional Oral Historians, from the organisation ‘On the Record’, to capture living memories of Brompton Cemetery. This will involve asking people who have been visiting for years – including LGBTQ groups, families, the ‘Friends of Brompton Cemetery’, wild-life lovers and community groups – about their subjective experiences. We’ll cover changes to the site, the diverse uses of the cemetery over the years and impressions about the future of the cemetery, and other topics decided by the volunteer team. We will be using industry standard audio recording equipment to conduct these oral history interviews with Cemetery visitors, past and present.

This opportunity will involve:
– Developing your historical research and media skills.
– Learning about a unique Victorian site.
– Attending participatory training in the methods, ethics and practicalities of recording oral history interviews to   British heritage industry standard on Saturday 10th March and Saturday 7th April.
– Preparing for and recording oral history interviews at a time that is convenient for the interviewee.
– Summarising and archiving oral history interviews (with training and support).

Time Commitment:
We will have a regular weekly drop-in for oral history volunteers (at a time that suits the majority). However, you may need to be a bit flexible as not all oral history interviewees will be available at that time.
2 days Training – 10th March and 7th April
5 days recording over May/June
5 days  Summarising over July/August

Location: Brompton Cemetary

Training Opportunities: This opportunity will involve:
– Developing your historical research and media skills.
– Learning about a unique Victorian site.
– Attending participatory training in the method, value, ethics and practicalities of recording oral history interviews to British heritage industry standard on Saturday 10th March and Saturday 7th April.
– Preparing for and recording oral history interviews at a time that is convenient for the interviewee.
– Summarising and archiving oral history interviews (with training and support).
Experience/Qualifications/ Attributes:
– No formal qualifications are required and this opportunity is open to all experience levels
– You will need to have a suitable grasp of English language as all interviews will be conducted in English. 
– You do need to be available for the training days unless agreed in advance with Halima.

If you are interested in becoming involved, please contact the project on or call Halima Khanom on 0207 352 1060/ 07521 515911.

Please state in your email whether you are available for training.

Expenses: Expenses for food and travel, up to £10 per day.

Closing Date of Project: Deadline for Volunteer Applications is March 8th at 12pm.

For more information please go to:

Alessandro Portelli. Reflecting on a Life in Progress and the Stories of Oral History (Newcastle)


Launch of the Oral History Collective and Unit @ Newcastle

Wednesday 10 January, 5.30 pm
Curtis Auditorium, Herschel Building,
Newcastle University.

Professor Alessandro Portelli, Professor of American Literature
Sapienza, University of Rome

Alessandro Portelli has played a leading role in transforming oral history. Through a number of key studies, he has promoted an appreciation of oral history as a literary genre that throws light on the significance of subjectivity in history. By interpreting the themes and structures of eyewitness testimony, Portelli has consistently demonstrated new ways of understanding memory.

In this lecture Portelli reflects on his work to date, illustrating his intellectual journey with reference to the stories of the personal, and historical, victories and defeats that have inspired his critical contribution.

Public Lecture
All welcome.
Admission free.

For more information:

Click here for the event poster. 

The Curtis auditorium is in the Herschel Building, just across the road from the Haymarket metro station and no. 17 on the campus map:

Oral History Society vacancy – Trustee / Membership Officer


The Oral History Society is seeking to recruit a new trustee to fill the role of Membership Officer.

The main purpose of the role is to assist the Society in liaising with the subscription agency to gather membership data, respond to membership enquiries and help support the Society in developing their membership more widely.

The role would suit a highly organised individual with relevant experience in a similar role, with excellent interpersonal and organisational skills, good IT skills and an interest in oral history. The ideal candidate will have the ability to engage with a wide range of audiences and the willingness to develop the Society’s membership base.

The role is voluntary and the time commitment is flexible; reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed; the successful applicant will have access to a mentor.

Closing date: Wednesday 31st January 2018, 5 p.m.

Please see here for role description and how to apply.

An Oral History of Oral History – where did it all start for you?


Oral History of Oral History is a collection of life story interviews with the pioneers and leaders of oral history in the UK. The interviews were mostly conducted by Robert Wilkinson and cover the technological, organisational and methodological changes within the discipline since the 1950s. 

Explore the Oral History of Oral History collection with Charlie Morgan, Archive and Administrative Assistant for National Life Stories, and find out how some well known figures of the field first got involved, in his blog here:



Oral History Master’s program (Prague)


Department of Oral History – Contemporary History, Faculty of Humanities, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.

Admission to our Oral History – Contemporary History program is now open until July 31 2018.

Oral History – Contemporary History is a 2-year Master’s study program in a combined (part-time) form of study and as the name suggests, our program aims to educate students in contemporary history as well as in methodology of oral history.

Our department is a part of Faculty of Humanities, Charles University in Prague, and we also closely cooperate with the Oral History Centre at the Institute of Contemporary History, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.

If you would like to know more about us, please visit our website:

Please also read our letter at this link.

We are looking forward to hearing from you!


A new type of oral history book – Australian Lives


In this video oral historian Alistair Thomson introduces you to the Australian Lives ebook, which enables readers to be listeners to the hundreds of oral history extracts in the book, and which curates access into one of Australia’s largest online oral history collections. Al demonstrates the extraordinary technology that made the book possible and which brings oral histories alive on the page and in the archive.

View the introduction to Australian Lives here.

‘Oral History of Oral History’ interviews now online via British Library Sounds


We are delighted to announce that the first batch of life story interviews as part of our long-running ‘Oral History of Oral History’ project are now available online via British Library Sounds at

The British Library-funded programme of interviews started in 2003 with the aim of recording the pioneers and leaders of oral history in the UK dating from the 1950s onwards. Whilst work undertaken at the University of Essex in the 1960s is often seen as the beginning of the modern movement in the UK, recordings were being made in Scotland as far back as the 1930s on cylinders, and later wire recorders. Recordings were also being made on the Isle of Man, at Leeds University, and in Wales capturing folklore and fast disappearing dialects and languages. In England George Ewart Evans ploughed a lonely furrow in East Anglia in the 1950s and 1960s recording farm labourer families using open reel recorders borrowed from BBC Norwich. At the BBC, Charles Parker was breaking the mould of radio programme-making with the ‘Radio Ballads’. The ‘Oral History Journal’ was founded in 1969, followed by the Oral History Society in 1973. From these early developments there was an explosion of oral history activity in Britain in the 1970s and 1980s, much of it community-based. Graham Smith’s The Making of Oral History is a useful introduction to the history of the discipline.

Irish Heart, Coventry Home


This project celebrates the contribution of Irish people who came to Coventry.

We have interviewed 50 people from Ireland who arrived between the years 1940-1970. These interviews are currently being turned into a 30 minute DVD.

We have also collected photographs and objects. These will be used at an exhibition at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in March 2018.

Duration of project: 12 months

The most successful element of the project has been the breadth of our 50 interviewees. We have spoken to a wide variety of people including poets, builders, teachers, musicians. Furthermore, we are pleased to have involved so many female interviewees. Women are sometimes left out of narratives of Irish migration, even though they came to England in significant numbers.

One element we have found a bit of a struggle is capturing the media’s attention. Hopefully, we will attain more interest when the exhibition goes live in March 2018.

Publications: Not yet, although we are thinking of turning this into a book.

Other outputs: We will be producing a DVD and exhibition in March 2018

Contact details:
Coventry Point, Market Way, Coventry, CV1 1EA
Telephone: 07933 308109


Volunteers learning how to use the equipment.


The launch of the project in March 2017. From left, Simon McCarthy (Manager of Coventry Irish Society), Dr. Cathy Hunt (Steering Committee) and Ciaran Davis (Project Officer).


Seán Cannon. Lead singer of the Dubliners. Interviewed for the project.

Seeking British Korean War veterans for film project



The Legasee Educational Trust Links up with the Korean War Legacy Foundation for Educational Project Covering Three Continents.

The Legasee Educational Trust is looking for Korean War Veterans from across the UK to come forward and share their experiences of the often forgotten conflict for a major new oral history project that will see British contributors added to the Korean War Legacy Foundations international digital memorial archive.

The New York-based Korean War Legacy Foundation, Inc. (KWLF) has sponsored the Legasee Educational Trust to film the oral accounts of British Korean War Veterans for their digital memorial, which hosts around 800 in-depth interviews with Korean War vets and 6,000 historical artefacts related to the conflict (

The British Veteransoral histories will complement the existing archive, which is used for educational projects including providing digital teaching materials, hosting annual teacher conferences and running educational trips to Korea.

The project follows the success last year of the Legasee Educational Trusts Korea The Forgotten War project, which collected the personal testimonies of 50 veterans from the North West of England for a digital archive that formed an invaluable insight into first-hand experiences of the war. This was accompanied by a local schools project, teaching resources and an exhibition at the Tameside Local Studies and Archive Centre.

Jongwoo Han, President of the Korean War Legacy Foundation said: We are very excited at the prospect of receiving the stories of Korean War Veterans from Great Britain, the second largest force to fight in the Korean War. The stories will be a great boost to our archive and help to bring together educators and teachers from three countries the Republic of Korea, the UK and the USA.

Legasee Trustee Martin Bisiker said: We are extremely keen to record the personal stories of British veterans who were involved in a war that is too often forgotten for this very special project. We know there must be lots of people out there with stories to tell and we are very keen to hear from them. If you know of anyone who was involved in the conflict then please encourage them to step forward so their voices can be heard for future generations across the world to discover and learn from.

If you know of anybody who served in the Korean War and has a story to tell, please contact the Legasee Educational Trust at Filming is expected to commence from September 2017.

About Legasee Educational Trust:

Legasee Educational Trust is a charity set up to record the experiences and observations of all veterans of conflict from WWII until present day. To create the largest online film archive of this aspect of our social history that can be used for education, learning and better understanding for todays generation and many generations to come. Legasees film archive is well regarded and used to support

Legasee Educational Trust is a Registered Charity No.1145354


Advanced oral history training courses, OHS


The British Library and the Oral History Society are running a series of advanced oral history training courses in the coming months. Places can be booked through the Oral History Society website.

These courses include Developing your Oral History Skills (for those who have conducted 5 or more interviews), Lives in Focus (recording oral history interviews on video), and Transcript to Script (turning oral histories into plays for stage and radio). We are also running a re-vamped and up to date course in Digital Editing, back for the first time since 2013. This course provides a hands on introduction to the principles and techniques of digitally editing oral history interviews for use in exhibitions, websites, and more.

Digital Editing

  • 11th October, 2017 (British Library, London)
  • 14th February, 2018 (British Library, London

Book here.

Developing your Oral History Skills

  • 22nd September, 2017 (British Library, London)
  • 23rd March, 2018 (Showroom, Sheffield)

Book here.

Lives in Focus

  • 28th November, 2017 (British Library, London)

Book here.

Transcript to Script

  • 29th November, 2017 (British Library, London)

Book here.

Got an idea for sharing oral histories in the public domain? Want £5,000 to help? Apply for the NLS Goodison Fellowship!


National Life Stories, the oral history charitable trust based at the British Library, is pleased to announce that applications are now open for the National Life Stories Goodison Fellowship 2018-19.  The aim of the Fellowship is to increase public knowledge and awareness of oral history, particularly of the National Life Stories collections.  The award of £5,000 is open anyone resident in the United Kingdom who wishes to use the National Life Stories oral history collections to reflect on life stories and memory, and share the results of their research in the public domain.  Past Fellows have used the award to stage an exhibition, research a book, write scholarly, online and journal articles and produce a radio programme. 

The National Life Stories Goodison Fellowship provide the recipient the time and space to listen in-depth to oral history material from across the collections. The award holder will become the Goodison Fellow for a period of three to nine months, subject to agreement with the Awarding Panel. The Fellowship must commence in the period 1 February 2018 – 1 November 2018. 

For more information and application details visit

The closing date for applications is midnight on Monday 20 November 2017.