Event: The Voice of the Artist. 10 December 2016

10th December 2016 9.45-6.00pm.

Kenneth Clark Lecture Theatre, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, Strand, London, WC2R 0RN

For more than twenty-five years, Artists’ Lives has been capturing the lives of artists through their own words. This unique project documents artists’ words, and the recollections of those surrounding them, in the context of their lives. Capturing social history as well as art history, each recording begins with the speaker’s childhood. Collectively the recordings are an extraordinary tapestry of corroborative and conflicting perspectives on the visual arts in Britain, spanning the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

This one-day conference explores the importance, relevance and complications of the life story approach. In panels dedicated to speaking, listening and interpreting, The Voice of the Artist brings together artists, their interlocutors, experts in creating oral history archives, and users of the rich research material. By paying attention to speaking, listening and hearing, the role of oral history in shaping different approaches to writing the history of art will be discussed and contested.

Artists’ Lives is run by National Life Stories at the British Library in association with Tate. The Henry Moore Foundation, The Henry Moore Institute and the Yale Center for British Art have been closely involved with the project since its inception.

The conference coincides with the exhibition Artists’ Lives: Speaking of the Kasmin Gallery at Tate Britain, November 28 2016 – 2017.

At 6.30pm, on 9 December, at Tate Britain, Sir Nicholas Serota will be in conversation with Kasmin, chaired by Fiona MacCarthy.

This conference organised by the National Life Stories at the British Library, Tate, Henry Moore Institute and The Courtauld Institute of Art)

£16 general admission / £11 students and concessions

For more information and online booking (opening soon), please see the following link: http://courtauld.ac.uk/event/the-voice-of-the-artist

This guide is for people who record oral history interviews, and organisations and individuals who keep collections of oral history recordings in the four nations of the United Kingdom. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland comprise the UK and amongst them have three legal systems. However so far as the law is referred to in this document it is safe to assume that all come within the wider context of UK and European law. The Oral History Society promotes the use of oral history techniques to record the memories of those whose life stories would otherwise be lost to future generations, and encourages researchers and teachers to make use of oral history in their work.

It is essential that interviewees should have confidence and trust in interviewers, and that recordings should be available for research and other use within a legal and ethical framework which protects the interests of interviewees. The following information and guidelines are aimed at ensuring that these objectives are achieved.

Anyone involved with the creation and preservation of oral history interviews should take steps to safeguard their reputation for trustworthiness. This means ensuring that what they do is within the various UK and European laws that apply to oral history and that they have not been acting illegally. Oral historians generally speaking have a good reputation in this respect. This guidance is therefore offered as reassurance and advice to both interviewers and interviewees.

The Oral History Society believes that, while oral history work must comply with the law, legal requirements alone do not provide an adequate framework for good practice. No UK law was designed specifically to regulate oral history work; in fact no law even mentions it. Beyond legal considerations we have long held the view that oral historians should abide by a voluntary set of ethical guidelines.

For these reasons this guide covers responsibilities and obligations beyond legal requirements. Members of the Oral History Society, including those who are custodians, archivists and librarians, have agreed to abide by these guidelines.

The guidance reflects the workflow of a typical oral history interview. Much of the legal and technical detail is available not within the main guidance text but via hypertext links so that the key steps and terms can be understood and followed. There are also links to sample documents and resources.