University of Leicester eBulletin

Voices from History

June 2002
No 130

The East Midlands Oral History Archive Launches An On-Line Catalogue

Researchers who are used to working with dusty old documents and dry textbooks now have another option. The East Midlands Oral History Archive, based at the University of Leicester, contains thousands of recordings that recall events back to the start of the 20th century.

The archive has just made this collection of interviews, radio programmes and other recorded material more easily accessible to researchers and the general public with the launch of its on-line catalogue at

The catalogue currently allows users to search 194 oral history recordings mainly drawn from the Mantle Collection. The Mantle Collection focuses on the life and work of people living in and around Coalville. New recordings will be added every fortnight until the entire East Midlands Oral History Archive is searchable on-line. At the moment the catalogue is still under trial and the archive invites interested web users to view it and pass comments and suggestions to

"The East Midlands Oral History Archive catalogue is a major new resource for researchers of twentieth century history and beyond. Students of all levels, family historians, professional research and members of the general public with an interest in history will all find it invaluable," said Tristram Hooley of the East Midlands Oral History Archive. "The catalogue is growing all the time and will allow the people of Leicester, Leicestershire, Rutland and the East Midlands to access their own history in a unique new way."

Once catalogue users have found the recording they want they can listen to the recording at the Record Office for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland in Wigston.

The Record Office is the centre for research into the history of Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland. In addition to the East Midlands Oral History Archive, records of other kinds, including manuscripts (the archives of local government, institutions and families), maps and photographs are preserved and made available for research by the public. The record office also houses the local studies collection, including general works on Leicestershire and Rutland, local newspapers and periodicals, writings of local authors and sound recordings. Admission is free but proofs of identity and address are required before readers' tickets are issued. There is full access for the disabled.

The East Midlands Oral History Archive is a partnership between the Centre for Urban History at the University of Leicester, the Record Office for Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland (ROLLR), and Leicester City Museums and Library Services. It is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to establish the first large-scale archive of oral history recordings for Leicestershire & Rutland.

Its first aim is to retrieve as many of existing recordings as possible, and to make them more accessible through a website, an on-line catalogue, newsletters and edited CD-ROMS and cassettes. In addition to the Record Office itself, some of the recordings will also be available later in libraries and museums. EMOHA also aims to generate new oral history recordings through its own programme of interviewing, and by providing advice, training and support for community groups, museums and heritage organisations, students and other individuals who are interested in developing their own projects.


For further information contact Tristram Hooley on (0116) 252 5064 or visit our website at We can provide print quality photos on request.

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Information supplied by: Barbara Whiteman
Last updated: June 2002
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