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 https://www.bl.uk/projects/national-life-stories-fellowships

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

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.