UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

National Sound Archive: Oral History Collection, 1890-

Title details

SN: 4945
Title: National Sound Archive: Oral History Collection, 1890-
Alternative title: British Library Sound Archive: Oral History Collection, 1890-
Depositor: Perks, R., British Library. National Sound Archive
Principal investigator(s): British Library. National Sound Archive


The citation for this study is:

British Library. National Sound Archive. (2004). National Sound Archive: Oral History Collection, 1890-. [data collection]. UK Data Service. SN: 4945

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Subject Categories

General - Employment and labour
Social attitudes and behaviour - Society and culture
Social history - History


Abstract copyright UK Data Service and data collection copyright owner.

The National Sound Archive (NSA) is one of the largest sound archives in the world. Opened in 1955 as the British Institute of Recorded Sound, it became a department of the British Library in 1983. Its collections come from all over the world and cover the entire range of recorded sound. Of particular interest is its oral history collection which includes a number of data collections processed by Qualidata.

Primacy is given to sound recordings which may not always be fully transcribed. Qualitative collections of particular note include:

SN 4906 (Junko Sakai) 'Work Stories in a Cross-cultural Context: Miscommunication, Segregation and Disappointment in Japanese Banks in the City of London';
SN 4929 (Ronald Fraser) '1968: a Student Generation in Revolt';
SN 4934 (Paul Thompson) 'On the Edge of Later Life';

In addition there are a number of ongoing collections such as:

the Millennium Memory Bank - one of the largest collections of oral history interviews ever to have been assembled in Britain;

the Wellcome Trust Oral History of General Practice - a series of life story/career interviews carried out for a Wellcome Trust-funded project based at the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine between 1992-94;

the National Life Story Collection - established in 1987 to collect interviews from a wide range of people covering family background, childhood, education, work, leisure and later life.

Fieldwork projects include:

Architects' Lives
Artists' Lives
Book Trade Lives
City Lives
Crafts Lives
Food: from Source to Salespoint
Forgotten Feminism: the Fawcett Society Interviews
Leaders of National Life
Hall-Carpenter Oral History Archive
Lives in Steel
Lives in the Oil Industry
Living Memory of the Jewish Community
Oral History of Alston Moor
Oral History of British Photography
Oral History of Jazz in Britain
Oral History of the Post Office

In addition to general holdings there are other web based projects aimed at academia in particular. 'Archival Sound Recordings' is a separate audio resource intended for use by UK Higher and Further Education institutions. Access to these collections is given through Athens authentication. Details are included on the main sound archive pages.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Time period: 1890 - to present
Country: British Isles
Spatial units: No spatial unit
Observation units: Individuals
Kind of data: Textual data
Sound recordings
Universe: Cross-national; National
Sound recordings of oral history interviews from 1890 onwards.
Time dimensions: Various
Sampling procedures: No sampling (total universe)
Method of data collection: Face-to-face interview
Weighting: Not applicable

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Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 25 August 2004
Copyright: Copyright British Library Board
Access conditions: Host archive conditions apply
Availability: These data are available from a service other than UK Data Service - British Library, National Sound Archive, London, UK. Contact the UK Data Service in the first instance.
Contact: Get in touch


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