Sound and vision blog

Sound and moving images from the British Library

21 August 2015

Two oral history fellowship opportunities

7773 Scala screens for Goodison Fellowships v3

National Life Stories, the oral history charitable trust based at the British Library, is pleased to announce that applications are now open for the National Life Stories Goodison Fellowships 2016.  The aim of the Fellowships is to increase public knowledge and awareness of oral history, particularly of the National Life Stories collections.  

In 2016 there will be two awards both focusing on Artists' Lives, which has been recording in-depth life stories with British artists for 25 years.  To listen to a selection of clips from interviews in the project, visit the Curator's Choice section on British Library Sounds.   

The awards are each of £5,000 and are intended for those who wish to use the National Life Stories oral history collections to reflect on life stories and memory, and share the results of their research in the public domain.  One award is open anyone resident in the United Kingdom and the second is open to current and past students and staff of The Courtauld Institute of Art.  Both Fellowships are generously funded by the Rootstein Hopkins Foundation.

Possible outcomes from the Fellowship could be a series of national newspaper or magazine articles, an in-depth radio programme or series of programmes, a mobile app, journal articles, an exhibition, a series of podcasts or an online or printed education resource.  The recipient might be a journalist, radio producer, writer, oral historian, an academic using oral history or a museum, library or archive professional.

The Fellowship will provide the recipient the time and space to listen in-depth to oral history material from across the collections.  Fellows will be provided with desk space at the British Library, which will include access to interview material (plus books and journals) onsite at the British Library.  For the duration of the Fellowship, the National Life Stories Goodison Fellow will become part of the NLS/Oral History team, which will enable privileged in-depth discussion with curators, archivists and interviewers, mining their knowledge of the collections and National Life Stories’ approach to oral history.  Each award holder will become the Goodison Fellow for a period of three to six months, subject to agreement with the Awarding Panel. The Fellowship must commence in the period 1 January 2016 – 1 August 2016 and finish by 31 December 2016.

The 2015 Goodison Fellowship has been jointly held by Barley Blyton and Polly Russell, focusing on the National Life Stories Food collections.  Several newspaper and journal articles have been published, they have completed a book proposal and a BBC Radio 4 Food programme will be broadcast this autumn.  Barley reflects: “Listening to the stories of interviewees working in the food industry over the past 100 years has made our changing food history come alive. I feel personally connected to these men and women who, over my hours of listening have shared so much of their humour and experience. It has been a privilege to take up the opportunities that the Goodison Fellowship has offered and the insights of the interviewers and the oral history team have been invaluable in working with the archive.” 

Further information and application details for the 2016 Goodison Fellowships can be found here

The closing date for applications is midnight on Sunday 25 October 2015 and applications must sent by email to [email protected]


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