Oral History at the History of Parliament Trust: new volunteers needed!

Dr Emma Peplow is the new lead coordinator for our Oral History Project. Today she is announcing a new round of training for oral history volunteers. For more information about the project, click here.

As many of you know, our oral history project interviews former MPs about their lives and experiences both inside and outside of the House of Commons. Since 2011 we have interviewed over 180 former MPs and these recordings are archived in the British Library. Now, we’re on the lookout for new volunteer interviewers.

Linda Gilroy, former MP for Plymouth Sutton, 1997-2010, who was interviewed for our Oral History project.

Our project could not exist without these fantastic people, who, armed with the background research we provide, head out to homes and offices of ex-MPs to discuss their childhood memories, inspiration to enter politics, first experiences at Westminster, significant political moments and much more. Interviews can be many hours long but they normally take place over several sessions, and we ask interviewers to produce a time-coded summary to help future researchers navigate the recording.

Training for volunteers will be provided – we are hoping to hold our next training day in the spring. Ideally those who sign up will undertake two interviews a year. Experience in oral history techniques and an interest in modern British politics would be really useful, but are not essential. We’re especially keen to hear from people based in the North, Midlands and Wales.

Ben Ford, MP for Bradford North, 1964-1982, who was interviewed for our Oral History project.

You can read more about our oral history project, and the types of materials we are uncovering, in our many blogs here.

So, if you’re interested in oral history and politics, and fancy researching political life at Westminster from those who were there, please do get in touch with Emma Peplow at epeplow@histparl.ac.uk for more information.


With thanks to our volunteer photographer Barbara Luckhurst.

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