Anna Bryson


Role within OHS: Regional Networker for Northern Ireland

Current Professional Role:

Research Fellow at Queen’s University Belfast

Experienced Project Manager and Oral History Trainer

Institution: Queen’s University Belfast

Current Projects:

Apologies, Abuses & Dealing with the Past (ESRC funded grant)

  • Explores the role of apologies in dealing with past harms linked to three distinct sites of analysis – paramilitary violence, institutional child abuse and the recent economic crisis
  • Includes 60+ interviews with victims, apologisers, policymakers and key stakeholders


Dealing with the Past in Northern Ireland: The Stormont House Agreement (Queen’s University Business Fund Alliance funded grant)

  • Part of a select team of academics and lawyers preparing ‘model legislation’ for the ‘Dealing with the Past’ elements of the Stormont House Agreement
  • Leading on the proposed Oral History Archive


Lawyers, Conflict & Transition (ESRC funded grant)

  • Examines the role of lawyers during conflicts, dictatorships and transitions from violence
  • Includes 120+ interviews in Cambodia, Chile, Israel, Palestine, Tunisia and South Africa

Previous Projects:

Peace Process: Layers of Meaning (EU funded grant)

  • Created an oral archive of 100 in-depth interviews on the Northern Ireland Peace Process (senior negotiators, former paramilitaries, victims, Church leaders and a wide range of civil society actors)
  • Delivered a three-part oral history training programme for practitioners and postgraduate students
  • Funded and supervised three cross-border / cross-community oral history projects and related publications
  • Created an online database of 1100 extant interviews on the Peace Process ( and other online resources
  • Produced a film based on interviews with teachers and pupils entitled Out of Adversity and a corresponding teacher training resource pack
  • Published academic outputs (e.g. Routledge Guide to Interviewing: Oral History, Social Inquiry & Investigation)

Irish Political Prisoners 1920-2000 (Leverhulme Trust, Guggenheim Foundation, Home Office, Irish Department of Justice funded)

  • This major research project (led by Professor Seán McConville) examined political imprisonment from the foundation of the Northern Ireland state through to the last releases under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement
  • Included more than 160 in-depth interviews with survivors from the period (former paramilitaries of all persuasions, prison staff, senior policy makers, chaplains, tutors and prison support workers


Project management; oral history and transitional justice; oral history training; engaging ‘hard to reach’ and vulnerable witnesses; legal and ethical issues associated with conflict research

  • OHS Regional Network Representative for Northern Ireland
  • Founding member of the QUOTE hub (Queen’s University Oral History Technology and Ethics)
  • Founding member of the Oral History Network of Ireland
  • Advisory Board Member:
    • Accounts of the Conflict (digital archive of Northern Ireland conflict-related testimony)
    • Maze-Long Kesh Development Corporation (story-capture project)
    • Green and Blue (Oral Histories of Royal Ulster Constabulary and An Garda Siochana)
    • Aftermath (Oral histories of displaced people in and around the Irish border)
    • Crows on the Wire (Literary adaptation of testimonies documenting the transition from the Royal Ulster Constabulary to the Police Service of Northern Ireland)
  • Independent Oral History Consultancy Work:
    • Irish Blood Transfusion Service
    • Northern Ireland Prison Service