Sound and vision blog

01 December 2010

New oral history interviews with British scientists

An Oral History of British Science, a National Life Stories project, has now been running for just over one year.  We have completed 24 interviews with scientists, ranging from zoologists, computer engineers, glaciologists, geophysicists, soil scientists and aeronautical engineers. 

The first batch of interviews are now online, available as streamed audio, to a worldwide audience via the ‘Oral history of British science’ package on Archival Sound Recordings (ASR).  These interviews (Tony Brooker, Robert Hinde, David Jenkinson, Desmond King-Hele, Charles Swithinbank, Janet Thomson and Geoff Tootill) sit alongside life-story interviews with scientists, including Max Perutz and Joseph Rotblat, which were already available on ASR. 

We will be using ASR to provide remote access to the interviews and interview transcripts, and we aim to upload interviews from the project in batches as they are completed.  Further updates on the project, including reflections from the Library’s History of Science curator and the project interviewers can be found on the History of Science blog. 

An interview recently completed for An Oral History of British Science is one with Sir Maurice Wilkes, one of the pioneers of British computing, who sadly died on 29th November 2010.  The interview will be uploaded to ASR shortly, but in the meantime the interview is accessible to British Library readers pass holders via the Sound Archive catalogue.

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