Volunteers Learn about collecting Oral Histories

On Sat 25th June, volunteers from the Pride in Our Past project visited the Plymouth and West Devon Records office to learn more about the collection of oral histories from Plymouth’s LGBT community.

Oral history is nothing more complicated than someone telling someone else your story and having it recorded for history. Traditional history seems to be concentrated around notable people, places and events and often overlooks the ordinary people and their lives. Recording oral history is a way for voices to be heard which have traditional be neglected – such as the LGBT community in Plymouth.

The session was hosted by Tony Davey, the community engagement officer for the Records Office, who was keen to get the volunteers thinking about how they intend to engage with members of the community and document their stories.

In addition to important considerations such as what equipment will be used and how the interviews are to be transcribed, Tony also wanted the volunteers to consider who they are, what they want to achieve with this project and how they will relate to some, perhaps quite challenging, stories and opinions to become a real record of Plymouth’s recorded LGBT history.

It is becoming clear that this project is offering a real opportunity to put the record straight and uncover certain realities about the city; which have been glossed over historically. So, if you’d be interested in sharing your story, or volunteering for the project then please contact us.

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