It is only my 5th day as new team member at the WCML and I’ve had a lot to take in! I’m fantastically excited about this project and it has real potential to be the beginning of something wonderful for the Library and for the community. For those who are not yet aware we are now working on our Invisible Histories – Salford’s Working Lives Project which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. There is a brief intro on our website: http://www.wcml.org.uk/wcml/en/about-us/invisible-histories-project-needs-you/
I have a background in oral history projects but more importantly I love capturing memories and snippets of information that might otherwise go unheard or undocumented. So-called ‘ordinary’ working lives are more often than not really quite extraordinary. This project will be recording memories and using existing collections to breathe life back into some of Salford’s lost workplaces and hopefully will make younger generations more aware of Salford’s industrial heritage. Focusing on Richard Haworth’s Mill, Ward and Goldstone and the Agecroft Colliery we will, over the next 17 months, be creating podcasts and a touring exhibition.
We are recruiting interviewees who wish to share their memories and experiences as well as volunteer interviewers. For those interested in becoming a volunteer please do contact me at the Library (firstname.lastname@example.org). Oral history training through the Oral History Society will be delivered and it is hoped that this training will then lead to further projects and become an ongoing activity which the library will be able to build on in the future.
At the moment I am in the process of researching our collection to see what can be used and made more accessible as part of this project and I have had lots of help from staff and volunteers already. I am also arranging the first round of training and compiling lists of interested volunteers and I am going to be researching the next object of the month display. I’ll be posting regular updates on our progress so keep an eye out.