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Hidden Histories
Volume: 29, Issue: 2 (2001)
Articles
Looking to the Past: The Role of Oral History Research in Recording the Visual History of Britain's Deaf Community
This article outlines some of the issues encountered during the Football ABSTRACT 1 Association sponsored Deaf United project, which investigated the role of football in the social and cultural life of the British Deaf community. The growing importance of oral history methodology in researching and preserving deaf history, which derives largely from a visual/gestural language tradition rather than written sources, and the ethical and practical issues of translating such language into a written form are discussed. Strategies developed for overcoming some of the communication difficulties which can arise between hearing researchers and deaf research subjects are outlined, and approaches to overcoming potential misperceptions when accessing the community are also discussed.
Author(s): Martin Atherton, Dave Russell and Graham Turner
Keywords: Deaf; access; ethics; translation

'Dust to Dust': Oral Testimonies of Asbestos-Related Disease on Clydeside, c1930 to the Present
This article investigates the personal experience of occupational disease in the industrial conurbation of Clydeside, as recounted by interviews with 31 asbestos-disease victims. We examine exposure to asbestos in the work- place and the prevailing 'machismo' work culture of the shipyards and building sites in which high levels of danger were accepted as part of the 'natural order' of things. The final section discusses the impact of occupational disease on people's lives. The oral testimony for Scotland further demonstrates the irresponsible behaviour of the industry and, importantly, the limited effectiveness of the legislation which failed to protect workers from danger prior to the 1970s. There was a wide gap between legal requirements and regulations, and actual workplace practice. Oral history also illuminates the contested and often painful struggles over compensation and the way in which industrial disability seriously prescribed lifestyles, invariably led directly to social exclusion and how people coped with trauma and premature death.
Author(s): Ronald Johnston and Arthur Mclvor
Keywords: asbestos; disability; work; health

Growing up Alone
The material on which this article is based comes from interviews with people who grew up between the two World Wars, who were fostered or adopted as children. The majority were in the care of one of the large child care organisations, for example Dr Bamardo's Homes and the Foundling Hospital. Although both these organisations followed policies of boarding out (or fostering) for the children's early years, their requirements that children be educated and learn a trade were paramount. This aim usually implied separation between individual children and their siblings and their foster parents. The interviewees' own words are used to describe the impact of these separations and their aftermath.
Author(s): Barbara Prynn
Keywords: Child care institutions; fostering; disruption; loss

'They Made the Freedom for Themselves': Popular Interpretations of Post-Communist Discourse in the Czech Republic
How are people absorbing the new language of democracy and the market ABSTRACT in central Europe? Oral history interviews with Czechs reveal the disparity between scholars' assumptions about, politicians' usage of and popular associations with terms such as 'self-reliance', Individual responsibility', 'democracy', and 'freedom'. The ways in which people use these terms may be seen as monitors of social and political change, with important implications for analyses of the region.
Author(s): Revan Schendler
Keywords: Czech Republic; post-communism; oral history; democracy

More than Earnest Diligence: The Academic Performance of Female Undergraduates at an Elite British University
This paper considers coping strategies used by female students at an elite undergraduate institution to improve their academic self-confidence and performance. Interviews with fifty women who matriculated at King's College, Cambridge between 1972 and 1996 were recorded, transcribed, and analysed. Most interview subjects reported that their poor self-confidence, relative to their male peers, undermined their academic performance. A central coping strategy that many used to overcome their academic difficulties involved developing emotional attachments to their subject of study and to peers with whom they collaborated. According to interview participants, female students were more likely than males to employ strategies of emotional attachment. This finding suggests that educators might promote the academic success of women in elite academic environments by encouraging them to pursue these strategies.
Author(s): Joanna Norland
Keywords: gender; higher education; academic performance; Cambridge University

Public History
Oral History at the Extremes of Human Experience: Holocaust Testimony in a Museum Setting
This article charts the confrontation (or absence of confrontation) with abstract] Holocaust testimony since the end of the Second World War. It highlights how survivors were ignored and marginalised in the immediate post-war period with only small-scale and insular projects set up to record and publish their experiences. The situation in the late 1940s and 1950s contrasts with that today with more written and oral testimonies on the Holocaust collected than any other historical subject. The article explores why this transformation has taken place. It also asks what thought has been given to the way these recent interviews have been carried out as well as to their future utilisation. It concludes with a case study of the use of testimony in the Imperial War Museum's Holocaust exhibition, opened in June 2000. It analyses the dilemmas of using testimony in truncated form and whether the nuance and ambiguities of life history can be suitably represented in a museum setting.
Author(s): Tony Kushner
Keywords: Holocaust; life histories; video interviews; Imperial War Museum

The Century Speaks: A Public History Partnership
The Millennium Memory Bank, one of the largest oral history collections in Europe, and The Century Speaks, an award-winning national radio series, emerged from a unique partnership between the British Library and BBC Radio. This article describes and evaluates that partnership.
Author(s): Rob Perks
Keywords: archiving; broadcasting; radio history; millennium

Reviews
The South African Truth Commission
Author(s): Kenneth Christie

Recalling the Belgian Congo: Conversations and Introspection
Author(s): Marie-Bénédicte Dembour

The Raj: A Time Remembered. Diary of a Voyage to India in 1917 and Recollections of Life in the Indian Civil Service
Author(s): Donald MacPherson

Voices from Work and Home: Personal Recollections of Working Life and Labour Struggles in the Twentieth Century by Scots Men and Women
Author(s): Ian MacDougall

Keeping the Faith: The Polish Community in Britain
Author(s): Tim Smith and Michelle Winslow

Missing Persons: The Impossibility of Auto/Biography
Author(s): Mary Evans

Index on Censorship. Memory and Forgetting
Author(s):

Failing Working Class Girls
Author(s): Gillian Plummer

Grandmothers of the Revolution
Author(s): Geoff Dench

Grandmothers of the Revolution by Geoff Dench; Our Grandmothers, Our Mothers, Ourselves: A Century of Women's Lives
Author(s): Charmian Cannon

Women's Leisure in England 1920-1960
Author(s): Claire Langhamer

Northern Folk: Living Traditions of North East Scotland
Author(s): Valentina Bold, Tom McKean