University celebrates largest online collection of local oral history recordings in the UK

A free public event to celebrate the publication of over 400 interviews recorded by the Leicester Oral History Archive between 1983 and 1990 will be held at the David Wilson Library on 1 March.

The recordings contain memories of Leicester and Leicestershire from the 1890s to the post-war period, covering subjects such as childhood, health, transport, housing, politics, women's lives and the World Wars I and II.

The original interviews were conducted as a project for the Manpower Service Commission, and now form part of the East Midlands Oral History Archive (EMOHA).

Work to digitise the interviews was initially carried out during 2010 and 2011 as part of the JISC-funded My Leicestershire History Project and between 2016 and 2017 the University Library, in partnership with the East Midlands Oral History Archive, has completed work to add a further 300 interviews to its digitised collection.

This has made the resource the largest online collection of local oral history recordings in the UK.

Professor Julie Coleman, Head of the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities at the University of Leicester, said: “The East Midlands Oral History Archive is a unique resource for anyone with an interest in the history of Leicester and Leicestershire and in British social history more generally.

“Digitisation means that the archive is now freely available online to anyone who wants to listen to the interviews it contains. We particularly welcome those who have contributed to the archive and their family and friends to this launch event.”

The EMOHA is looking for people from all walks of life with good memories of Leicestershire between 1945 and 1962 as well as volunteers to help record them. Anyone who is able to help with this project is encouraged to contact the EMOHA.

More information is available here

The event is free, but advanced registration is required. To reserve your place please visit the 400 Voices of Leicester page on Eventbrite

The East Midlands Oral History Archive (EMOHA) is available here