Oral History Project

Scope and Content

An oral history project has been undertaken to record the memories of staff who have worked for either the Guardian or the Observer.

Staff interviewed include journalists and photographers, as well as production and administrative staff. Journalists interviewed include correspondents covering sports, defence, science, finance, television and film, and features writers.

Observer staff who have been interviewed include Observer editor Donald Trelford, deputy editor Anthony Howard, and columnist Katharine Whitehorn who first contributed to the newspaper in 1960.

Those interviewed from the Guardian include newspaper editor Peter Preston, Reverend John Graham, who compiled crosswords for the Guardian newspaper under the pseudonym Araucaria, and Claire Hollingworth, the war correspondent who is credited for first reporting the outbreak of the Second World War.

Topics covered include the Guardian’s move from the Manchester offices to production in London, the launch of the Guardian women’s page, and the changes of ownership of the Observer newspaper.

This collection contains a series of interviews conducted with Guardian staff who covered the Iraq War of March-April 2003 for the newspaper. Staff interviewed include reporters and photographers, some of which were embedded with the military services during the invasion, including the British army and navy.

The topics covered in the Iraq War interviews include the training and preparation undertaken before departure, the equipment they used in the field, and their interaction with the local people and the armed forces.

Originally recorded on minidisc or audio cassette, and later transferred to CD, the oral history recordings are now available to researchers via the GNM Digital Repository.

Many of the recordings include a data coversheet completed at the time of the interview which contains biographical details about the subject and information about the recording.

Access Information

Open (part). Some parts of the interviews remain closed where the interviewee has indicated they are confidential or where there is a possibility of a libel. Records may be consulted in our reading room by appointment only, see our website for more information.

Other Finding Aids

A full catalogue description for this collection can be found on the GNM Archive catalogue.

Custodial History

An oral history project has been undertaken to record the memories of people who have worked for either the Guardian or the Observer over the last 70 years. This project began in 2001 and today the project continues with more contemporary interviews being added to the collection.