First CCH Training Event on Oral History

20130112_142354The first of the Cambridge Community Heritage (CCH) training events for community groups being supporting to deliver their Heritage Lottery funded All Our Stories projects took place last Saturday at the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.

The workshop was attended by representatives from eleven of the CCH supported community groups to learn about the processes of interviewing, recording, editing and archiving people’s life stories to create and share an oral history. The event was led by Dr Sarah Baylis, a researcher on the Cambridge Community Heritage team, who spoke to the groups about preparation and conduct for interviews and best practice for transcribing and copyrighting them. Participants were invited to put advice on ‘active listening’ into practice by playing the roles of interviewer and interviewee. Following the lunch break, Ben Valsler of The Naked Scientists led a session about recording and filming interviews, and editing and uploading the digital files. To demonstrate the use of hardware and software a recording was made of a conversation between a couple of volunteers from the community groups who reflected on the events of the 2012 London Olympics, as shown in the photograph above.

All of the participants rated the workshop as ‘helpful’ and agreed that they felt ‘more confident’ about the oral history aspects of their HLF All Our Stories projects.

“The content of both morning and afternoon was very useful, covering planning and organising as well as the practicalities.”

“My colleague and I really enjoyed our day on Saturday and found it both interesting and informative and we are getting our heads together to devise some questions for our first interview.”

Supported by the University of Cambridge Public Engagement Team, the Cambridge Community Heritage project aims to bring university researchers and communities together to develop new ideas for projects investigating local heritage. The Cambridge Community Heritage project involves researchers from the University of Cambridge with a wide range of interests who have considerable experience of working with community groups. To read more about the projects being supported by CCH, please visit the website here.

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