Making use of Oral Labour History – Saturday 2 June 2018


Britain at Work (B@W) 1945-95 in association with British Universities’ Industrial Relations (BUIRA) IR History Group and Oral History Society (OHS)

Saturday 2 June 2018, 11am – 4.45pm
University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5LS
(opposite Madame Tussauds and nearly opposite Baker Street tube)
Room C279 (lunch C287)

For further details or to reserve a place, please email Michael Gold ( or Linda Clarke (

This year’s Britain at Work Oral Labour History Day will focus on what we do with the recordings we make, both audio and video. How do we share what we learn from interviews and how do we make sure that oral histories we collect are preserved for future use in safe environments and archives? The day will begin with an opening address by Robert Perks, Lead Curator, Oral History and the Director of National Life Stories at the British Library. Rob is also secretary of the Oral History Society and an editor of the journal Oral History. He will talk about developments and opportunities for the dissemination and sustainability of oral history collections.

Rob will be followed by a roundtable reports from participants currently involved in oral history in work settings. After lunch, there will be presentations from presenters whose oral history projects have resulted in books, films, pop-up museum and a comic. The day will end with a presentation from Martin Astell (tbc), Sound and Video Archivist at Essex Record Office, who will talk about being an archivist working in a local authority museum/archive and the challenges besetting local archives and archivists at the moment.

B@W is an initiative to capture the memories of people at work between 1945 and 1995, some of which are to found at the TUC Library Collections held at London Metropolitan University (

Draft Programme

10.30-11.00 Registration

11.00-11.15 Welcome and introduction: Michael Gold and Linda Clarke

11.15-12.00 Keynote: How can I future-proof my oral history project? Guidance on best archival and legal practice for preservation and public access and reuse’. Rob Perks, Lead Curator, Oral History & Director of National Life Stories at the British Library. Chair: Joanna Bornat

12.00-13.00 Roundtable: brief contributions from participants on their current interest in oral labour history. Chair: Michael Gold

13.00-14.00 Lunch:


Presentations. Chair: John Gabriel tbc

  • · Alex Gordon/ Chris Reeves (RMT History Project)
  • · Sally Groves (author of Trico: a victory to remember)
  • · Sundari Anitha / Ruth Pearson (Striking Women educational website + book)
  • · Padmini Broomfield (Ford Transition Pop-up Museum, Southampton)

15.25-15.45 Break 

15.45-16.15 Local collections: Martin Astell, Essex Record Office tbc. Chair:

16.15-16.45 Discussion + closing observations. Chair: tbc


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