Project Co-ordinator (freelance) (London / Birmingham / Manchester)


Post Description: Tape Letters: Invitation to tender for Project Co-ordination work

Modus Arts is seeking a Project Coordinator for the Tape Letters project which sets to unearth, archive and re/present to the public a portrait of the cultural heritage of Pakistani immigrants who settled in Britain between 1960-1980 commenting on their experiences of migration and identity as revealed through their use of audio cassette tapes as a mode of long-distance communication.

Drawing directly both from first-hand interviews and from the informal and intimate conversations on the cassettes themselves, the project seeks to shine light on this unorthodox method of communication, commenting on individual experiences of migration and identity, commenting on the unusual use of cassette tape technology, and commenting on the languages used in the recordings.

Contract Project Coordinator – freelance contract. 43 days at £200 a day: £8,600. National travel expenses paid. Contractor must be self-employed.

Purpose Coordination of volunteer and freelance staff. Managing (with the Project Manager) the collection of the Tape Letters archive.

Timeframe October 2019 – October 2020. Average of 1 day per week spent on the project.

Key Activities

  • Recruiting community engagement officers in three areas of the UK (London, Manchester, Midlands)
  • Supervising the work of three community engagement officers. Holding monthly supervision sessions with each officer.
  • Overseeing the recruitment and induction of 12 volunteers
  • Coordinating the community call out and project publicity
  • Supporting community engagement officers to deliver 5 reminiscence events with community groups/members
  • Supervise the collection of ‘tape letters’ cassettes and the recording of interviews for the Tape Letters archive – working closely with the Project Manager.
  • Scheduling training sessions for volunteers and community engagement officers.
  • Collect records of project activities for publicity and monitoring, including evaluating volunteer engagement and learning.

Essential Skills

  • Demonstrable experience of supervising staff and volunteers in community settings
  • Demonstrable experience planning and delivering project outcomes.
  • Experience of participatory facilitation of meetings, events and trainings.
  • Excellent spoken and written communication skills
  • Ability to collect highly personal archive material with sensitivity and tact and maintain confidentiality at all times.
  • Ability to work co-operatively with other members of the project team.
  • Willing to travel nationally on a regular basis.
  • Good working knowledge of basic IT software (Word, Excel, Google Drive).
  • Ability to be administratively self-sufficient.

Desirable Skills

  • Experience of oral history or community heritage project management.
  • Experience of community-based archive collection.
  • Experience of working with audio: recording, editing and archiving.
  • Ability to speak Urdu and/or other dialects spoken in Pakistan/ amongst Pakistani diaspora (i.e. Potwari).
  • Knowledge of the British-Pakistani community.

To apply please send us a CV and answers to the following questions, referring to the role description and person specification above.

Closing date: 10 am on Thursday 19 September 2019.

* Tell us why you are interested in this role. (200 words or less)
* Describe your past experience supervising and supporting staff and volunteers in community projects/organisations (500 words or less)
* Explain how your skills and experience will help you to achieve the deliverables we list in the role description. (800 words or less).

Interviews will take place on the 3rd and 4th of October 2019.


Post Location: Co-ordinator could be based in or near to one of the three areas covered: London / Birmingham / Manchester
Post Duration: 12 months
Post Hours: average of 7 per week
Salary:£8,600 per anum pro rata

Heritage Project Manager (Southampton)


Post Description: To deliver an exciting project which will research and celebrate the history of Avenue St Andrew’s United Reformed Church as a church which helps others. Please go to this link for further information: Heritage project manager for Avenue 2020 project – job description

Responsible to: Avenue 2020 project team.

Further information: The successful applicant will hold a degree.

The Avenue St Andrew’s Archives Room is on the first floor and accessible only by a flight of stairs.

The post is funded by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

To find out more contact the Avenue St Andrew’s church office (10am-2pm, Mon, Wed-Fri) on 02380 678787 or

Applications must be in before 6 September 2019, 12 midday.

Post Location: Avenue St Andrew’s URC, The Avenue, Southampton SO17 1XQ
Post Duration: 10 months fixed term contract starting early October 2019
Post Hours: Working flexibly with an average of 65 hours/month per week
Salary: £28,800 fixed contract fee to include any VAT and expenses

‘Surroundings’ – an artwork by Ivan Riches



‘Surroundings’ is an artwork initiated, devised, created and delivered by Ivan Riches, a 360° image projection with a voice soundscape compiled of participant’s experience of their relationships to their surroundings, from locations in Southwark London, North Devon and Bavaria Germany. One version of this artwork is for delivery as an installation with musicians creating a live supporting accompaniment in a gallery setting. The other version of the artwork is without live music, available for wider public viewing on YouTube for smartphones, tablets, 360° headsets and computer scrolling. 

There were 2 live installations/performances of improvised music/soundscapes with projected imagery, in direct response to recorded interviews, rich in feeling & intensity, creating live immersive experiences where the audience is surrounded by voices, sound textures & images.

Surroundings 360° (3 locations)’ Artwork by Ivan Riches 2019
This artwork part of the ‘Surroundings Project’ consists of voices recorded from interviews in Southwark London, North Devon & locations in Bavaria Germany, alongside mixed media imagery in 360° format. The Plough Arts Centre 26th June 2019

Surroundings (1 location)’ Artwork by Ivan Riches 2019
This artwork part of the ‘Surroundings Project’ consists of voices recorded from interviews in Southwark London.
The South London Gallery 24th April 2019 

Musicians for the live installation/performance:
Jo-anne Cox
Dee Fry
Ivan Riches 
Zack De Santos

Read Colin Hambrook’s article ‘Surroundings – a journey into the known’ at Disability Arts Online:

‘Surroundings: Stories of Home’ with transcripts of the Southwark London interviews is available at: 

Read more about the project and its development via Ivan’s blogs at Disability Arts Online:
Surroundings Blog No 1
Surroundings Blog No 2
Surroundings Blog No 3

Surroundings Blog No 4
Surroundings Blog No 5
Surroundings Blog No 6



Thank you to: 
The project participants for contributing their voices

Partners and Sponsors:
South London Gallery
Claudius Vergho
Plough Art Centre
Dr Jürgen Müller-Hohagen
Disability Arts Online

And Thank you to:
Fran Stanley for help and support
Willem Riches for help and support and some extra photography in Rosenheim Germany
Simon Puris for filming at the South London Gallery

All Visual Artwork & Film Coypright (C) Ivan Riches 2019
All Music Coypright (C) Ivan Riches 2019

National Life Stories Goodison Fellowship 2020-21


Got an idea for sharing oral histories in the public domain? Apply for the NLS Goodison Fellowship to help fund it!

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 2020-21. 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, write a play script, research a book, write scholarly, online and journal articles and produce a series of radio programmes.

Applicants can draw on any of the NLS collections, but proposals using material from one or more of the following collections will be particularly welcomed:
Crafts Lives – over 160 life story interviews with British studio crafts makers recorded over the past 20 years
Architects’ Lives – over 150 recordings with pioneering UK architects recorded since 1989
An Oral History of Theatre Design – 30 interviews with prominent theatre designers.

The National Life Stories Goodison Fellowship provides 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 2020 – 1 November 2020.

For more information and application details visit

The closing date for applications is midnight on Monday 28 October 2019.

Post Duration: 3-9 months(months)
Salary: £5,000

Calls for Papers. Conference: Cold War Voices: Stories, Speech and Sound, 1945-1991 (Bristol)


Department of Historical Studies
University of Bristol, UK
22-23 January 2020

Voices were an integral element of the Cold War: from political speeches to surveillance technology, the spoken word took on a political, cultural and social significance in the post-1945 world. But voices could also be used to express anger or dissatisfaction with Cold War politics; to express fear or uncertainty for the future; or used to disseminate alternate viewpoints on current affairs.

Historians too have turned to voices to understand the history of the Cold War period, interviewing policymakers, diplomats and officials, but also “ordinary” people who lived through tension and conflict.

This conference aims to explore the relationship between the Cold War, voices and oral history in more detail, examining not only the gathering of voices during the Cold War, for cultural, political or intelligence purposes, but also historians’ use of voices, oral histories, oral culture and sound in writing histories of this period.

Taking a deliberately broad view of Cold War ‘voices’, we welcome papers on the following topics:

• Surveillance, ‘listening in’ and recording voices during the Cold War
• Voices from war, conflict and violence during the Cold War period, including the Korean War, Vietnam War and conflicts associated with decolonization
• Speaking out for peace: oral histories of nuclear disarmament and the peace movement
• Cultures of orality, folk culture, sound and song during the Cold War
• Narratives of subjectivity and selfhood during the Cold War
• Cold War anniversaries and the memory of the Cold War
• The use of oral history to understand the domestic, local or regional impact of the Cold War, across the world
• Oral histories with policymakers, diplomats or officials, or other ‘elite’ political actors
• The use of archived oral history interviews or official histories
• The dissemination of ‘voices’, via broadcast media and the politics of Cold War interviewing
• Innovative technologies for accessing, disseminating or displaying Cold War voices

Proposals must include a title and a 350-400 word abstract, plus a 200-word biography or one-page CV.

Please send your proposal to and by 1st October 2019.

We welcome applications from researchers from all career stages and disciplines. Successful speakers will be contacted by 1st November 2019.

The conference will take place at the University of Bristol, UK. For more information on the University of Bristol, see: Support for travel and accommodation will be available for early career researchers.

The workshop is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council as part of Dr Grace Huxford’s AHRC Early Career Leadership Fellowship on ‘British Military Bases in Germany: Living with the Cold War and its Legacies, 1945-2000’ and is organized by Dr Grace Huxford and Dr Joel Morley. For more information on the wider project and the conference, see

For further information please contact: and

Discovering the Guildhall (Portsmouth)


Volunteer Duties: Oral History Timed Summary Volunteers and Archive Cataloguing Volunteers Needed!

The Guildhall, Portsmouth has a rich and varied past having housed Portsmouth Police Station and cells, been a civic centre for the city, was bombed during WWII, rebuilt and is now a Grade II listed building. As a music venue it has hosted famous ‘names’ including Ella Fitzgerald, Shirley Bassey, The Who, The Beatles, and so on, and it was the venue Pink Floyd first played Dark Side of the Moon. Politically and socially it has a very interesting history having been visited by Churchill, Moseley, and Christabel Pankhurst to figures such as President Clinton, Princess Diana, Thatcher, and members of the royal family.

The Discovering the Guildhall project focusses on capturing people’s memories of the Guildhall, gathering archive material, cataloguing and digitising these items to create an online resource. We are creating two short documentary films, an exhibition, and have delivered an outreach programme.

Oral History Timed Summary Volunteers:

As part of this project we have been gathering local residents memories through oral history interviews and we are now looking for volunteers to produce timed summaries.

If you have experience that would be helpful, however, we can provide training if not.

Oral history recordings will be emailed to you at home and completed timed summaries sent to the project team so you do not need to travel to the Guildhall.

Archive Cataloguing Volunteers:

As part of this project we have been gathering archive material (e.g. photographs, letters, documents about the rebuilding of the Guildhall after the bombing, concert tickets, programmes etc. ) and have had some items generously donated to us. We now need to catalogue all of the archive material before digitising it and making it available to people online via our website.

Ideally we are looking for one or two volunteers with cataloguing experience which they can bring to the project, as well as volunteers with no previous experience but who are interested in learning.

Organisation: The Guildhall Trust, Portsmouth Guildhall, PO1 2AB

Location: Archiving and oral history interviewing at Portsmouth Guildhall. Summarising interviews at home.
Expenses: Travel and parking expenses

Contact Name: Nicola Peacock
Email Address:

Closing Date of Project: April 2020

Tallin Tallin – The Story Project


Tallin Tallin is a project that aims to preserve and promote the rich tradition of oral storytelling in The Gambia, West Africa; the evening entertainment that has captured the imaginations of so many generations of adults and children. In addition, it hopes to help address the Western-centric nature of many of the stories available to children in schools in the region. The project is being developed by artist Amy Pitt ( alongside WYCE, a charity that has been operating in rural Gambia since 2001 (

Over the last few years, the project has travelled 914km across The Gambia, collecting traditional oral stories from 8 ethnic groups. For years, these stories have been passed on from generation to generation as a means of entertainment, to encourage debate and discussion, and to teach important cultural values. However, with younger Gambians increasingly living away from their extended family, and with Western forms of entertainment increasingly encroaching into everyday life, there is a real risk that as the generation that knows these stories passes they will be lost to this rapidly developing country forever.

Tallin Tallin will collate these stories, preserving them as a lively, illustrated book, one of which will be distributed to every primary school in The Gambia, free-of-charge. In doing so, the project intends to create a resource that celebrates local heritage and culture, encourages engagement with literature and storytelling, and has direct relevance to the people of The Gambia. Additionally, the original audio recordings will be made into a digital archive, so that these stories can be downloaded to phones, laptops, and tablets, and be widely engaged with in the format that they have always been shared.

In the long-term, the dream is to create a one-day festival celebrating the cultural tradition of oral storytelling. The festival will take place annually in three locations in The Gambia, and involve local storytellers and musicians.

In early April, a crowdfunder campaign will be launched which aims to raise £6000 in 30 days. This money will be used to:

  • Print 1000 books and ship them to The Gambia
  • Create the digital archive of original recordings and illustrations

If you are interested in finding out more about the project, and to keep up-to-date with the crowdfunder campaign and other updates, then please follow the contact details below:



Facebook: @TallinTallinStoryProject

Instagram: tallin_tallin_story_project

Twitter: @Tallin_Tallin_






The Fieldwork Journals of Eric R. Cregeen (1921-83)


Project summary
Internationally renowned social historian Eric R. Cregeen (1921–83) was one of UK’s prime movers in recording oral history. Rigorously trained by the Irish Folklore Commission in the 1940s (while recording for the Manx Folk-Life Survey), Cregeen settled in Scotland (1954) taking up posts with the University of Glasgow then, in 1966, with Edinburgh University’s School of Scottish Studies. 

Eric R. Cregeen worked tirelessly in the West Highlands and Islands of Scotland, where he recorded the way of life of people who lived off the land and sea.  He catalogued his tapes and deposited them in the Archives of the School of Scottish Studies, until his sudden death in 1983 robbed Scotland of an outstanding oral historian, folklorist and scholar.  Historiographer Royal of Scotland, Professor T. C. Smout described Cregeen as “a social scientist of the highest order… a very fine historian and a very fine anthropologist… far in advance of this time … no one since has put the two disciplines together so effectively to illuminate the life of the Highlands.”

Besides his recordings and published writings, Cregeen’s legacy included over 30 fieldwork notebooks, which remained with his family until 2015 when Mrs Lily Cregeen handed over a box of fieldwork journals to Margaret Bennett (former lecturer at the School of Scottish Studies), a Trustee of the charity Grace Notes Scotland (“dedicated to handing on tradition”). With a grant from Heritage Lottery the journals were digitized, and a team of transcribers typed over 4,000 pages of oral history fieldwork notes.  After the project was completed, Margaret Bennett collaborated with publisher  Gonzalo Mazzei (Grace Note Publications) to produce  9 volumes shown here:  The Cregeen Journals (1939–82). 

A set of the journals has been added to the  Special Collections of the University of Edinburgh, and an on-line database is planned. The University of Glasgow is also incorporating Cregeen’s work into their database DASG (Digital Archive of Scottish Gaelic), and it is hoped that researchers will enjoy further access to the work of this very fine oral historian.

Further enquiries regarding the 9 volume set may be made via

Reflections on the project:
Talks and exhibitions were well attended, and local history groups took part in workshops.
To begin with, few people had heard of Cregeen, but some were very excited when they recognised family members among the photos. One young man ‘met’ his grandfather in the journals, photos and recordings, and, considering the grandfather had died before he was born, he was deeply moved to discover the wealth of tradition that Cregeen had recorded from him.  As it happened, a film-maker from BBC Alba also attended, and when he saw the powerful effect of this, he took up the ‘story’ and then made an hour-long documentary film, which has just been completed and telecast on BBC Alba (Feb. 25, available on iplayer).

Other outputs: The project produced 6 exhibitions, starting with an opening exhibition at the National Library of Scotland (Edinburgh) and  a final exhibition in Lochmaddy, North Uist (April 1 to May 30, 2018)

The project also included 10 oral history workshops for schools in the areas where Cregeen worked.

Contact details
Dr G. Mazzei
Grace Note Publications
‘Grange of Locherlour’
Crieff, PH7 4JS

Telephone:01764 655979

Photographs by Gonzalo Mazzei, used with permission.


Call for Papers: Oral History Network of Ireland’s Annual Conference “Oral History in a Digital World”. Limerick City, 28 & 29 June 2019


The Oral History Network of Ireland (OHNI) is pleased to announce its 2019 conference on the theme of “Oral History in a Digital World.” Collecting oral history in digital formats and putting recordings online is increasingly becoming standard practice for oral historians. As such, this conference offers a timely opportunity to consider the possibilities and challenges offered by technological advances and wider accessibility to collections through online platforms. This two-day conference will take place at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, on Friday, June 28, and Saturday, June 29, 2019.

Continuing OHNI’s tradition of inviting keynote speakers of international renown, we are delighted to welcome to this year’s conference Doug Boyd, Director of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at University of Kentucky, past president of the Oral History Association, and manager of Oral History in the Digital Age. Doug is a key innovator in the archiving and dissemination of oral history and leads the team that developed the free, open-source OHMS system which synchronises text with audio and video online. He is the co-editor (with Mary A. Larson) of the book Oral History and Digital Humanities: Voice, Access, and Engagement, published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2014.

Conference contributions are welcome in a range of formats:

  • Standard conference papers (20 minutes)
  • 10-minute presentations for our “Moments” panels, focusing on outstanding or memorable individuals, experiences, and/or incidents that influenced or changed the way the presenter practices oral history
  • Posters and visual presentations

While we welcome proposals on any topic related to oral history, we are particularly interested in proposals that take an imaginative approach to the “Oral History in a Digital World” conference theme. Potential topics could include (but are not limited to):

  • Collecting, archiving, and disseminating digital oral histories
  • Technological possibilities and challenges
  • Methods and techniques
  • From tapes and CDs to digital formats
  • Increasing access and engagement with digital tools
  • Digital oral history in the classroom
  • Social media and oral history
  • Ethical and legal issues of online oral histories
  • Re-using online oral history collections
  • Innovative online projects

To propose a paper, please submit an abstract (of no more than 250 words) along with your name; the name of your group, organisation, or institution; and your email address to before 5 p.m. Friday, February 22, 2019. All proposals must demonstrate a clear engagement with oral history and/or personal testimony, and we actively encourage the use of audio clips. The conference committee’s decision on successful abstracts will be communicated to potential presenters in March.

Registration for the conference and further information will shortly be posted on the conference page of our website:

‘Ships in the Sky’ – an oral history, film and exhibition project


Project summary

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”                 

– Henry David Thoreau, Walden    

‘Ships in the Sky’ is an oral history, film and exhibition project that celebrates the social history of Hull’s former central flagship Co-Operative Society store built after its predecessor was bombed in 1941. The store later became BHS and now lies abandoned in the city centre.

The project also looks at the ‘Three Ships’ mural – a curved concrete 66 x 64 ft screen depicting three stylised trawlers that spell ‘HULL’ in the masts and bears the motto ‘prosper through industry’. Commissioned by the Co-op in 1963 to adorn the front of the building, it comprises 4,224 foot square slabs set with Italian glass tesserae; the spectacular result is a mosaic encompassing 1,061,775 individual cubes that is regarded as the largest mosaic in the UK. The Co-Op’s public art brief was to “unite the community through art” and to “celebrate Hull’s maritime heritage” both statements being at the heart of the ‘Ships in the Sky’ project.

“Growing up in Hull, this unmissable piece of public art was formative in my love of modernism and wanting to study art. My Dad comes from a long line of trawler-men, and during our weekly trip for fried egg sandwiches to Fletchers opposite, he’d tell me tales of his first trawler trip at the age of 12 to Murmansk and beyond the Arctic Circle. Aside from an avid fondness for Boyson’s graphic modernist aesthetic, I associate the Three Ships with stories of fantastical voyages that began in Hull, and as a metaphor for where life might lead me; its destruction would break my heart.” – Esther Johnson (artist/filmmaker)

Oral histories are being collected to record the memories of Co-Op and BHS store shoppers and employees; architects and designers; local and national opinions on the building; memories of club-going in the various incarnations of the nightclub at the top of the building. Central themes include a look at the Hull fishing and maritime heritage connection and whether people believe the mural is important in terms of geographical and historical local identity. There will also be attention to the effects of this remarkable piece of public art on peoples’ navigation and memories of the unique public realm of Hull City Centre.         @shipsinthesky63

Project Support

The first phase of this project is funded by James Reckitt Library Trust with the support of Hull Culture and Leisure, Hull Central Libraries; Hull Trinity Old Boys’ Association and the Art and Design Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University.

Artist Biography

Esther Johnson (MA Royal College of Art) is an artist and filmmaker working at the intersection of artist moving image and documentary. Project themes include social histories, heritage, regeneration, and exploration of architectural vernaculars and the inhabited environment. Johnson is Professor of Film and Media Arts in the Art and Design Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University.

Project duration 24 months


Have co-authored (with Leigh Bird) an article for The Modernist magazine:                                                              

Other outputs:

The project has just started but the following is planned:

– series of oral history interviews that will be added to ‘Untold Hull’ collection – travelling exhibition around Hull Libraries and other community venues – an artist film – a Hull Modernist Architecture tour – a Hull Modernist Architecture app – Final project exhibition – Symposium – Printed summary of project.

Contact details

Esther Johnson, Professor of Film and Media Arts

Sheffield Hallam University, Harmer 2418b, Sheffield, S1 1WB

Telephone:07866 586 248