The oral archive of the Somerset Rural Life Museum was started in a small way in 1973 and has been steadily added to over the years. There are now over 600 recordings in the collection and it continues to steadily grow.
The archive represents interviews with a very
wide range of people from all walks of life engaged in many
different occupations, from coopering and gloving to thatching and
teasel growing. Recordings have been included in several specific
projects including cider-making, willow-growing, and the Women’s
Institute. As would be expected in an agricultural county there are
many fascinating interviews with farmers recalling life from World
War I to the present day.
The collection has been digitised and is available in CD form. All the recordings have been fully transcribed.
The recordings are available, on application, to students, researchers and the general public, both at the Rural Life Museum (01458 831197) and at the Somerset Heritage Centre in Taunton
About a hundred short clips of recordings with transcripts are available on the website, and other extracts can be read in the publication ‘Somerset Voices, A Celebration of Memories’ by Ann Heeley, Louise Clapp and Liz Snelgrove, available from the Somerset Rural Life Museums shop or via this website.
The Oral Archive website may be found here www.somersetvoices.org.uk
Home Membership What's On
Research Bookshop Links