Oral History Unit & Collective to host national Oral History gathering

We are excited to be hosting oral historians from around the UK for the annual Oral History Society (OHS) regional networkers’ gathering next weekend. The event will begin on Friday 26 October with a special seminar from Dr Rob Perks, director of National Life Stories at the British Library. Saturday’s program focusses on the challenges and opportunities of partnership working and the afternoon will be opened to non-members.

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Collected Voices

One of the organisational members of our Collective is the Newcastle University Special Collections & Archives team. As part of their commitment to opening up the archive, the Collected Voices project gathers the oral histories of those behind the materials. In this post, literary archivist Rachel Hawkes gives us an insight into their work.  

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Deindustrialisation, Heritage and Memory Network – First Workshop

Research Associate, Andy Clark, has recently been organising and coordinating a new network looking at deindustrialisation, heritage and memory. On Friday 28th September, the network held its first workshop at the Scottish Oral History Centre in Glasgow. In this Lug post, Andy reports on the papers, themes and discussions that emerged throughout the day.

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Report: Oral History & Creative Practice ‘Show and Tell’

The interaction between oral history and creative practice has been a key topic of conversation at the Oral History Collective. In this post, Bruce Davenport reflects on the conversations emerging from our recent Show and Tell workshop. 

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Upcoming events, autumn 2018

Throughout the warm summer months, we have been working hard to create an exciting programme of events for the autumn semester at Newcastle. These are now finalised and we’re delighted to share them with you. If you have a proposal for an event that you think we should be organising or contributing to, please contact us either via the comments section, or at oralhistory@newcastle.ac.uk

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News: New media brings Booker interviews out from the archive

A new film from the British Library features clips from an oral history interview by the Oral History Unit’s Sue Bradley. ‘Behind the Scenes: The Man Booker Prize — Stories from the British Library’s archive‘ is an audio-visual montage created by British Library interviewer Sarah O’Reilly, with voices from in-depth interviews recorded for National Life Stories.

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Using imagination to connect with the recent and deep past

For many – maybe most – of us, imagination is what gets us interested in history in the first place. Recently, the oral history collective have been having a lot of conversations about the connections between oral history and creative practice, including creative interpretation of history. In this post, Alison Atkinson-Phillips takes us on a winding journey of reflection on oral history and imagination, and offers a round-up of some local examples. 

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Introducing Sue Bradley, our third Research Associate

Sue Bradley joined Oral History @ Newcastle as our third Research Associate in February this year. Sue is an experienced oral historian and was instrumental in developing a network of like-minded researchers at the university before the Oral History Unit came along. Her first project has been to work with Special Collections at the Philip Robinson Library to develop shared processes for the collection and archiving of oral histories. Having worked in the Centre for Rural Economy for the past ten years, Sue brings a non-urban focus to the unit’s work.

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We are searching for voices from region’s shipbuilding past

Full Media Release: https://www.ncl.ac.uk/press/articles/latest/2018/08/saveourshipyardshistory/

Voices from a historic campaign to save the North East’s shipyards are being sought in a bid to remember the real life experiences of those involved.

The Oral History Unit’s Dr Alison Atkinson-Phillips wants to track down people who took part in the ‘Save our Shipyards’ campaign that took place from 1983-84 in a bid to stop the closure of yards on the Tyne and Wear. Workers from Swan Hunter on the Tyne and Austin & Pickersgill on the Wear, their families, union leaders and local politicians, were interviewed for two short films known collectively as the ‘Shipyard Tapes’.

The first film ‘The Price of Ships’ explains the economics of the global shipping industry, highlights the strengths of the yards on the Tyne and the Wear and argues for further government support. The second film ‘Down the Road Again’ warns of the dangers of the yards returning to private ownership, cautioning that it risked returning to the type of unsecure, casual labour that shipbuilding was known for before nationalisation.

Originally commissioned by the Tyne and Wear County Council, the two twenty minute films have been preserved and are part of the collections of North East Film Archive, who are working with Newcastle University on the project.

Email oralhistory@newcastle.ac.uk for more information.

Deindustrialisation, heritage and memory

In this Lug post, Andy Clark discusses a new network that he’s coordinating focused on deindustrialisation, heritage and memory. It aims to facilitate greater collaboration and discussion among academics, heritage groups, artists, and community historians interested in deindustrialisation and the memorialisation of manufacturing jobs and communities. Email andy.clark@newcastle.ac.uk to find out more, or to join the network’s mailing list.

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