Meet our Regional Networkers
Our accredited Regional Networkers are all members of the Oral History Society and experienced in oral history. They come from a wide range of backgrounds – community projects, libraries, museums, archives, and academic institutions – so there will always be someone who can help with your specific queries.
They are willing to assist anyone new to oral history or wanting to discuss their work with someone who is sympathetic and knowledgeable. They will act as a first point of contact for enquiries, give advice, and where appropriate refer you to other appropriate contacts or sources of guidance.
Our Regional Network Co-ordinator, Juliana Vandegrift, would be happy to advise you on who to speak to in your area or you can browse the Regional Network pages on this website.
Deputy Regional Network Co-ordinator
An OHS trustee since 2009, I am Deputy Coordinator of the Regional Network and representative for the South East region. As Liaison Trustee I support the Environment and Climate Change Special Interest Group (ECC-SIG). My oral history journey began in the late 1990s at Southampton Oral History Unit with recording the life stories of Asian women, shipyard workers and local communities. Now a freelance consultant, I work with heritage, educational and community organisations on participatory projects that explore the lesser-known stories of people, places and working lives. I also provide training, mentoring and external evaluations for heritage projects. Recent oral history work has involved recording and editing interviews on migration, manufacturing, maritime and regeneration themes to create content for museum displays, audio posts, online exhibitions and publications. I am particularly interested in collaborations where my interviews are interpreted and presented in creative ways to engage and captivate people.
I am a Trustee of the Oral History Society, one of its Accredited Trainers, and a Regional Network representative for Leicestershire and Rutland. I also edit the Current British Work section of Oral History, the Society’s journal. I started my oral history career in the 1990s in a community history unit at Leicester City Council, and in 2001 I helped to establish the HLF-funded East Midlands Oral History Archive (EMOHA) at the University of Leicester, where I was Project Manager for three years. I have a particular interest in using oral history to research and interpret family history, and along with my colleague Mary Stewart I contributed an article on the subject, ‘Exploring encounters between families, their histories and archived oral histories’, to the Archives and Records journal in April 2017. Other articles include ‘Moving on: reflections on oral history and migrant communities in Britain’ in Oral History, Volume 34, No. 1. I have also written or edited a range of books using oral histories. I am now semi-retired but continue to teach modern British history and local history to adult students alongside my involvement in the Oral History Society.
Special Interest Group Co-ordinator
My oral history roots are in family, and I came by way of theatre and a 45 minute interview with a prominent Los Angeles actor where I forgot to take the recorder off pause, to Leeds and the Cotswolds as a PhD student in the Institute of Dialect and Folklife Studies where the local community of Chipping Campden sent me galloping on the lifelong road of learning about oral history I’m still engaged in. Oral history was central to the archive and study centre I was asked to establish and developed over thirty years, which was devoted to therapeutic, care and educational environments – schools, prisons, psychiatric units, children’s homes, communities – which shaped my practice, and understanding of oral history as a tool for building community, and sense of self, place, and belonging. I’m an Honorary Research Fellow in the History of Medicine at the University of Birmingham, course author and tutor in Oral History in the Centre for Archive and Information Studies at the University of Dundee, and within the OHS am a Trustee, with a special role working with and for Special Interest Groups, a Regional Networker, and a British Library National Sound Archive/Oral History Society trainer.
My roles within the OHS are Trustee, Regional Network Representative (South Yorkshire), Accredited Trainer and Website Officer. I teach public health subjects and oral history in palliative care in the Division of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Sheffield. I have worked on numerous palliative care and end of life research studies and in 2007 established an oral history project as a service for patients in a Palliative Care Unit in Sheffield. This project continues to offer patients an opportunity to create life history recordings as personal and family records and for research. I also lead an Oral History Group which focuses on oral history research in healthcare and collaborates with care providers in establishing new oral history projects. Key to this work has been the development of a bespoke training and development programme for hospices and palliative care centres.
At present I’m the Vice Chair of the OHS but I’ve been a Trustee since the 1980s. I’m also a regional network representative for Wales and an accredited oral history trainer. I’m now retired, but before that I worked for many years at the open-air museum at St Fagans, Cardiff. I was initially employed as a Welsh language dialect researcher, when the museum was still known as the Welsh Folk Museum. I then worked there as a sound archivist and oral historian, eventually becoming Keeper of History and Archaeology for the National Museum of Wales as a whole. Before retiring, I was very proud to have led the content team for the reimagining of St Fagans as a participatory national museum of history – a project that resulted in the museum being awarded the Arts Fund Museum of the Year in 2019. If you are in Wales and would like advice or training in oral history, please get in touch.
Rwy’n siarad Cymraeg ac wedi gweithio gyda chymunedau ar hyd a lled Cymru. Os ydych yn gwneud prosiect hanes llafar trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg, mae pob croeso ichi gysylltu am gyngor.
I am the Library & Information Officer for Local History at Dundee Libraries, where we hold a large and varied collection including print, manuscripts, photographs and oral histories from the city’s history. I’ve worked on academic and community oral history research projects in the past, and have been lucky enough to interview lighthouse keepers, craft workers and storytellers among many others. I am particularly interested in projects about people’s work and creative lives, and the importance of place. I am currently working on conserving and sharing the existing oral histories in our library collections, and am looking forward to expanding Dundee oral history collections in the future too. You can get in touch with me via email or Twitter.
My current work revolves around training, interviewing, audio editing and creating podcasts, and managing oral history projects for the heritage, community and education sectors. This takes me all over the West Midlands and beyond where I advise and work with museums, galleries, schools, councils, community groups, arts organisations and wildlife charities. My career started as a BBC Radio Producer and branched into oral history after working as a producer on ‘The Century Speaks’ in 1999. I am an OHS accredited trainer and a key adviser on working with schools and young people. I co-produced the school resources on the OHS website and am a member of the Creative Special Interest Group. Do have a look at my website or give me a call.
On reflection my involvement with oral history began, albeit unwittingly, when I was given a reel to reel tape recorder as a present for my fourteenth birthday. I fondly remember my first ‘interview’ when I recorded my grandmother recalling her childhood memories in her beautiful soft Somerset voice. From an even earlier age I became fascinated with tape recording from watching on black and white T.V. how the BBC made radio programmes. This fired my childhood imagination and an old shoe box became my make believe tape recorder attached to a long piece of string tied to a stick which was my microphone. This early fascination with sound recording led eventually to me joining the BBC and many wonderful years in radio, working on both sides of the microphone. When I retired from the BBC and reluctant to ‘hang up the microphone’ I joined the OHS, immersed myself in oral history – and I love it! As an OHS regional networker in the south west I am privileged to be involved with numerous wonderful oral history projects – many over the years and I am delighted to offer my help, advice and training to anyone or any group embarking on oral history.
My involvement with oral history goes back to the Leicester Oral History Archive, which I joined in 1988. Since then, I have worked with many community-based oral history projects. I have been with the East Midlands Oral History Society at the University of Leicester since 2001 and am currently seconded to the Unlocking Our Sound Heritage Midlands Hub, also at the University of Leicester. I have many years’ experience of giving advice, help and training in oral history. I have helped to create oral history related exhibitions, newsletters, books, cassettes, CDs, videos and webpages. Among many interests, I particularly like recording stories of urban environments, and creative uses of sound.
I’m a regional networker for Scotland for the OHS and a BL/OHS accredited oral history trainer. In addition, I deliver training for the Scottish Oral History Centre at the University of Strathclyde, where I am a research associate and teach on various undergraduate and postgraduate history modules, including the ‘Oral History Theory and Practice’ and ‘Work and Community Placement in Oral History’ modules. I am also a part-time lecturer with the Centre for History at the University of the Highlands and Islands and undertake freelance work as an oral historian, proofreader and copy-editor. I actively undertake oral history research, and am currently working on a BA/Leverhulme-funded project entitled ‘Rainbows in the Windows: An Oral History of Young Families in Britain in the COVID-19 Pandemic’. Please do get in touch if you are in Scotland and would like any advice on oral history.
Having been fortunate enough to be involved in oral history for 25 years, I wear a variety of hats as a freelancer, including interviewing people from all walks of life, from Generals to Oscar winners, then editing, transcribing and cataloguing the results. It has been a joy, an opportunity to learn about people and their experiences, and being privileged to record their memories. There have been many varied and interesting projects along the way, working with museums and community groups both in the UK and abroad, from Leeds to Louisville, including English Heritage, the Royal Armouries and local authority museums. For 13 years I have also freelanced for a Yorkshire based Holocaust survivor charity, now as Head of Collections. As a Trustee for the Duke of Wellington’s Regimental Museum I focus on our digital based work, including developing the oral history collection. If you are setting up a new oral history project and would like advice from me as a Regional Networker, please just ask.
I am a Regional Network Representative for Wales, and Secretary of the Oral History Society’s Higher Education Special Interest Group. I currently work as an Assistant Archivist at the Richard Burton Archives, Swansea University. I have been closely involved with the Voices of Swansea University, 1920-2020 oral history project, with Dr Sam Blaxland (Department of History, Swansea University). This project includes over eighty interviews with past students and staff, and was created as part of Sam Blaxland’s publication Campus and Community in a Post-War World, 1945-2020 (University Wales Press, 2020) to mark the university’s centenary. I support undergraduate and postgraduate students using oral history as part of their research, and supervise student work placements and volunteers in oral history summarising and transcription. My oral history career began around 2010 when I volunteered on an oral history transcription project at the V&A Museum of Childhood. I graduated as an archivist the following year and worked as Assistant Archivist for the Oral History department and National Life Stories at the British Library until 2016, when I moved to Swansea University. In 2017 I was Project Manager on the Gower Landscape Partnership oral history project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to preserve the history and heritage of Gower through oral history. My main interests are the archival management of oral history and exploring ways in which oral history can be made more accessible.
I began recording people’s memories in 1974, using the collected reminiscences as the source for local books. I co-founded Living Archive Milton Keynes (www.livingarchive.org.uk) and was its General Manager from 1992 to 2002 and am currently its Chairman. Living Archive’s basic premise is that everybody has a story to tell. Such stories and other primary source materials have inspired multifarious high-quality artistic, creative and educational activities including large scale musical documentary plays, books, radio and video documentaries, textile projects, exhibitions and websites. I am an accredited Oral History Society trainer and have taught many tailored introductory courses, as well a courses in an introduction to video recording oral histories and digital sound editing. Over the last few years I have been recording many more interviews on video and using them to produce documentaries, as well as helping others do the same.
My interest in oral history began as a student at Ruskin College when I conducted a number of interviews for Raphael Samuel. After further studies at the London School of Economics I became a journalist and later a television producer with Granada TV; occupations that always involved interviewing people. After ten years at Granada I became a freelance writer and broadcaster and subsequently published three oral histories about football. These were followed by oral histories of Coronation Street, life in the 1950s and memories of British soldiers in the Korean War. I also founded the Centre for Oral History Research at the University of Huddersfield and was awarded a £120,000 grant for an oral history of rugby league. I also received an HLF grant for a study of Asian immigrants in Huddersfield during the 1960s and worked on an oral history of the Two Minute’s Silence. In more recent years I have been compiling an oral history of Granada Television (www.granadaland.org). Over the past 20 years I have trained volunteers on numerous oral history projects in the north west where I am the OHS network representative. I am currently Visiting Professor in Oral History at Manchester Metropolitan University and Visiting Professor in Journalism at the University of Chester.
I specialise in the recording of filmed oral histories. I set up the charity Legasee Educational Trust in 2011 and I now have an archive of over 650 personal testimonies of military veterans. If you are considering the use of video for your oral history project, I will be happy to advise.
I am currently working freelance in North West Cumbria, after having moved here fairly recently. I have several community-based projects in the pipeline, but they are currently on hold due to the pandemic. Venturing into online possibilities, I am currently working with Signal Media via Zoom workshops towards a future exhibition combining oral history with the fabulous imagery of the Sankey Photographic Archive. Recent work includes interviewing on behalf of the Imperial War Museum (Contemporary Conflict), and interviewing and editing for the King’s Cross Story Palace. In 2016, I completed my doctoral thesis entitled ‘Archaeology of the Voice’. The project was based on over 60 interviews I carried out in the Holbeck area of Leeds, focused on producing multi-vocal oral histories as GPS-located sound, accessed by walking in the locality. I have worked as a freelance community artist on many digital media projects involving place, memory and voice. Major public history projects include: Memories of Leeds City Varieties (2010-11); Lasting Moment (2009), Leeds City Museum; Sonic City (2006-9), Leeds City Council. My specialities include interviewing, audio walks, sound recording, editing, and site-specific work. I also provide introductory training sessions for oral history practice.
I am an Oral History Society accredited trainer on the introductory and digital editing courses. I am also a regional network representative for South Yorkshire. I am currently completing a PhD “Understanding oral history in palliative and supportive care” in the Health Sciences School at the University of Sheffield. I have been an oral historian for over 15 years, starting my career as an interviewer and coordinator on an oral history in palliative care service at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. I have also managed and consulted on several heritage oral history projects throughout the UK and worked for clients including England Heritage and the Arts Council. I am particularly interested in oral history as a form of digital legacy, and the ethics of its public reuse in the digital realm. I teach this topic at undergraduate level at the University of Sheffield. If you’re looking for oral history advice or training in or around South Yorkshire, please get in touch.
I first discovered oral history when I was studying for a doctorate in political history, since when I helped establish the Bradford Heritage Recording Project in the early 1980s, working as a museum curator, before a period in television. From 1988 until my recent retirement, I was Lead Curator of Oral History at the British Library, and Director of National Life Stories since 1996, heading a team of interviewers, archivists and transcribers involved in oral history collecting and fieldwork in a variety of sectors: from arts and crafts to business and finance, from the utilities to science, from architecture to publishing. I’ve been Secretary of the Oral History Society and an editor of Oral History Journal since the later 1980s. I’ve acted as an advisor to a range of oral history organisations around the world, including the National Lottery Heritage Fund (HLF) and BBC Radio in the UK, and projects in Canada, Greece, India, Australia, Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, China and Ireland. In 2007 I was awarded an honorary DLitt by the University of Huddersfield. My publications include The Oral History Reader (Routledge, third edition 2015, with Al Thomson). My last major project before retiring was ‘Unlocking Our Sound Heritage’, an ambitious five-year £18.8m project to digitally preserve 100,000 of the nation’s most rare and vulnerable sound recordings, both at the British Library and around the UK, working with a consortium partnership network of ten regional audio preservation centres.
I became Chair of the Oral History Society in 2017 and I am a member of the Society’s Higher Education and Migration Special Interest Groups. I am also currently a member of the organising group for our 2022 Annual Conference on the theme of ‘Home’. I have participated in community based oral history projects since the early 2000s including those on refugees, young people in care, work experiences in declining industries of the Thames Gateway and lost trades in the London borough of Islington. I have recently collaborated with Jenny Harding and Verusca Calabria on a three day course for PhD students at universities in the south of England. I work part-time as a senior professor of Sociology at London Met. University where I teach health ethics and research methods. My research interests include racism, learning and teaching in higher education and oral history, of course!