Oral history archives in the East Midlands


Chesterfield Library accept any relevant donations of oral history recordings.

Derby Local Studies Librarybased at Derbyshire Records Officehas around 172 general oral history tapes plus a number of radio and audio recordings covering: local memories and reminiscences, Derby County Football Club, events from 1976-1991 and BBC Radio Derby broadcasts.

Derbyshire Record Office has a collection of around 130 interviews covering lives lived in Derbyshire communities, local industries, farming, World War Two and covering local communities including Ashover, Belper and Renishaw.


100 Stories of Migration in Leicester is an audio archive created by BBC Radio Leicester of 100 stories from people who left their lives in another country to come to live in Leicester.

Harborough Museum holds a collection of over 200 oral history interviews on topics including: Welland Valley agriculture, domestic service, life in Market Harborough’s courtyard slums in the 1920s, shops and shopping and wartime experiences. The collection is available on cassette tape. Tapes can be consulted by appointment at Harborough Museum.


Boston Library Oral History Collection at Boston Library has taped interviews with the following people: Charles Sharp, JJ Parker, AH Mather, Peter Kitwood, JG Horton, Harry Fountain. All were recorded in the 1990s.

Grantham Museum holds the following oral history material: four cassette tapes containing memories of VE Day, one tape about airfields in Lincolnshire during World War One, one tape about the World War One attack in May 1918 on Chemin des Dames (recorded in 1975), one tape containing World War Two RAF crew room sound effects, one taped interview with Harry Humphries about the World War Two Dambusters raid, one tape of Clifford Dack talking about Henry Preston. Find out more on the museum website.

Grimsby Library, part of North East Lincolnshire Museum Service (NELMS), has a collection of between 150-200 oral history recordings which also include radio programmes of local interest. The collection will soon become accessible by appointment and there are hopes to transfer the recordings onto CD in future. Find out more on the North East Lincolnshire's Museums website.

Lincoln Central Library has recordings about the following local places: Saxilby – two taped recorded interviews with Mr Wright form March 1969; Gainsborough – an interview with Walter Kelsey (born in 1899 and recorded in 1988); Mablethorpe – A Short history of Mablethorpe by J Bell recorded in 1982; Bardney Lock – lockkeeper's daughters Hilda and Sheila Wright recorded in 2007; recordings related to Saxilby and the Fossdyke from 2007. Other tapes contain: Reminiscences of Lincoln Typhoid Epidemic - 1904/5; Mr Browning and Jenny Haith; Lincoln in 1904/5; Lincoln Horse Fair, pubs, sanitation, pigs; VE Day and Wartime memories; Frank Bonsfield (born in 1904 and interview in 1988); Lincoln County Play – recollections of Early Lincoln - taped interview with gentleman born in 1914; Working Lives Recalled, a tape series covering Oil Milling and Railways.

Lincolnshire Sound Archive is based in Scotland but an index of collections is held on the archive's website.

Louth Library has the following recordings: Brian Street, chemist in Louth (1946-1981); Miss Pyle, librarian for Louth (b.1948); Percy Fenton; Mary Howden recalling the Louth Flood of 1920; Grace Bett interviewed about Lincolnshire Dialect; David Vinter on Bygone Louth; Cecilia Vinter on Lincolnshire Dialect; David Robinson on the Lincolnshire Coast; Stuart Sizer - Brown's eye view of Louth; Hymns by Louth Methodist choir; Mary Burrows on Lincolnshire Dialect; Harold Jackson; John Brocklebank on Louth Boys' Grammar School; Jesse Baggaley on Rural Rhymes; Working Life down Riverhead, Louth.

Museum of Lincolnshire Life has a number of recordings covering subjects such as the First and Second World Wars, local dialect and pig breeding.


Nottinghamshire Oral History Collection is stored in Nottingham Local Studies library and is accessed on a regular basis by students and readers, either at the library or by using the loan system. The Oral History Collection contains recorded interviews with ordinary people, plus some well-known names, who have lived and worked in the City and County. They recall their own memories of work at Boots, Players or the Raleigh, in the lace and textile industries, in the countryside, down the mines and in a variety of other jobs. They also tell of life on the dole, home life, schooldays, entertainments and social life: personal accounts of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire during the 20th century. Nottingham Central Library is currently closed. For more information email enquiryline@nottinghamcity.gov.uk or telephone 0115 915 2828.

Southwell Workhouse is a National Trust property. It holds a collection of over 60 interviews with people who once lived or worked at the Workhouse, some of which have been used to recreate aspects of the property's past.