Oral historians

Kingscott, Judith (6 of 12).  Oral History of Oral History

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  • Recording date

    2010-03-15, 2010-04-19, 2010-05-17, 2010-06-21, 2010-07-26, 2010-09-13

  • Interviewees

    Kingscott, Judith, 1939- (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Wilkinson, Robert (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 6: The local studies library accepted any recordings before the university project. They collected things, she did one or two interviews at first. Remembers one with a photojournalist who was moving away. He used to take the photographs and then interview the subjects. He explained how he made spot the ball competitions with a sixpence. He kept his photo plates or negs in the garage but cleaned it out regularly. People would come into the library and suggest interviewees, always tried to fix up people of a similar interest. Very few people were willing to do the interviewing. Occasionally did them herself. There wasnt really a system for the interviews, would train and lend equipment to those willing. Mostly people had no experience. The people from the previous project all moved away apart from Julie ONeil. She went freelance and supervised for OU oral history. She would often come in, was doing research on Sunday schools. [04:02] The MSC recordings were taken to the library, copied from reel to cassette. They came over with the indexer, he set up a system which made them much more useful. The interviews were mostly life stories, some were just working lives. The interviews were free-flowing, they had a preliminary interview but didnt always stick to a plan. There was a pretty equal male female split, most people were retired, and perhaps more females were interviewed. The women themselves would deselect themselves sometimes. Peter Wincoll was a champion of the project, he went to the OU and did a dissertation talking to working people and realised the benefits of recording, he was the prime mover in the project. They realised there was a gap in the history of Nottingham. The County Council was amalgamated with the City Council in 1974. The project was called Making ends meet; earning a living in Nottinghamshire 1900-1950. They had an office in Mansfield at one time and went to Hucknall, didnt go much further out[12:29] There were 108 recordings made in the two year period 1981-1983. Describes storing arrangements; (the archivist had to learn to use the technology following the Living History Project, whereas he had refused in the past). The Archives were separate; they had been together before; the public libraries had the Archives but it expanded and so the county set it up as a separate unit. They brought in most of the District Council archives into one, one or two kept their own archives. There were about four professional archivists and some clerical staff. One of her assistants left to go to the Archives as it was full time. [16:17] The recordings were all indexed and then she had to catalogue them. Was then working on the backlog of earlier recordings. The DH Lawrence tapes were part of this, pre MSC. Used the DH Lawrence tapes a lot, people doing plays would use them to hear accurate Nottingham accents. Inherited at least 100 different sorts of these recordings. The earliest was 1947 from the royal show in Nottingham, a commentary on the show. Indexing arrangements[24:25] The MSC foreclosed, other projects were coming through. Had some low rise flats and one high rise block in Nottingham which had been up for 20 years, the council realised they needed to be knocked down. People who had been living there were upset and wanted to record in book form what their lives were like there. They had become known as problem flats; Hyson Green was known for prostitution, drugs were coming in and the flats were in bad condition, they were not correctly built. There was a community worker and Hyson Green Tenants Association, the Chair of this was a lady from Sheffield, a single mother. She wanted to improve things in the flats. She and the community worker came into the library and asked for funding for a writer to come in and write a book on the flats. Got the MSC to do a two year oral project instead. Had three part time recordists and she as co-ordinator and the typist were already on staff. Staff recruitment details. They were based in the local studies library and went out to Hyson Green. Details of how they recruited interviewees. They were part time and minimum wage, the best one was upset by this as he had been through university whereas one of the others hadnt. This became a sore point as the young black man skived off a lot and did little work. There were problems, they were supposed to fill in time sheets but these were a bit fictitious. They were doing 16 hours a week, it was up to them as to who they interviewed and when. The eldest interviewed some of the prostitutes though they didnt say thats what they did. [33:04] They did fairly well; some people had been there the whole of their lives in the flats and had children living there; to them it was home; they didnt mind living there. It wasnt really a representative bunch of interviewees. They did about 50 interviews in six or seven months. Didnt like going to the flats, though nothing bad happened to her personally, the middle interviewer was mugged, though they didnt steal the tape recorder. Details of recording equipment and transcribing and indexing. Eventually they started to make some index cards of examples of local dialect. e.g. ay up me duck. The biggest difference was based on the coalmining areas which were on the borders of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. The difference between one pit and the next was noticeable. Discusses Ilkeston dialect. There is a variation on dialects within a small area.

  • Description

    Life story interview with Judith Kingscott, former oral history lead at Nottinghamshire Libraries.

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