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Re-using community oral history sources on food and family life in the First World War

Knight, Abigail and Brannen, Julia and O'Connell, Rebecca (2015) Re-using community oral history sources on food and family life in the First World War. Oral History, 43 (1). pp. 63-72. ISSN 01430955. DOI UNSPECIFIED

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Abstract

This paper is about re-using archived oral histories from two contrasting community oral history groups, Ambleside Oral History Group in the Lake District and from the Waltham Forest Oral History Workshop in North-East London, to study family food practices during the period of the First World War. Our analysis of 38 oral history transcripts from the two archives reveal themes relating to farming and food growing, hardship, food shortages, meals and self-sufficiency. We discuss some of the methodological opportunities, challenges and limitations of re-using oral histories in a social scientific study focusing on food and family life in hard times, such as the type, quality and accessibility of the interview data, co-construction, the interviewer’s use of local knowledge and stories from previous interviews to steer interviews, and questions of temporality and context. We conclude by saying that despite some of the challenges and limitations of re-using oral histories, there is a wealth of sources contained in community oral history archives available for social scientists as well as historians.

Item Type: Article
Controlled Keywords: oral history
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2015 09:37
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2015 09:37
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