On Saturday 22 September, University of Plymouth History - in collaboration with the Centre for Oral History and Tradition (University of Lethbridge, Canada) - ran its first Southwest Transnational Beginners Oral History Community Workshop. Ten participants from around Devon participated in a full day introduction to the practice of using interviews to collect historical data and record the past through the memories of people whose experiences narrate history. This taster session covered project planning and development, how to conduct interviews with interview-practice sessions using recorders, transcription exercises and archiving discussions, all followed by a case study of one of the UK's most successful oral history projects, the award-winning Stone House 100 Homes Project led by Pete Davey and Donna Maughan. Participant fees included lunch, refreshments, and a pack of practical information and resources.
Dr Darren Aoki organised the Workshop with Dr Alan Butler (Research Fellow in History, Leader of the nationally-acclaimed Pride in Plymouth Archive), Mr Pete Davey (Leader of Stone House 100 Homes Oral History Project), and Dr Carly Adams (co-founder of Centre for Oral History and Tradition, co-leader of the Nikkei Memory Capture Project with Darren) who joined the Workshop from Canada by skype link. Special mention and thanks go to Donna Maughan and David Angeles, third-year BA (Hons) History students who are specialising in oral history methodology and practice. They not only helped to organise and facilitate the Workshop, but their contribution to discussions and activities enhanced participants' learning experience. Thanks also go to the History Unit, School of Humanities and Performing Arts, and the Higher Education Initiative Fund for their support making the Workshop possible. Overall, the Workshop was a great success, and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, so much so, that we are now looking towards developing future Workshops and deepening our local and transnational collaborations.