Elizabeth Roberts Oral History Collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Papers and recordings from a set of interviews exploring working-class life in Barrow, Lancaster and Preston. The first series consists of transcriptions of the oral history interviews undertaken as part of the project. These have been listed using the original subject code names as assigned by Elizabeth Roberts. The second series consists of records about the respondents. There are biography sheets which give background information about each respondent, although they should still not be identifiable. The file which gives names and contact details is currently subject to restricted access. The third series consists of subject indexes. Index headings used have been included in the catalogue description, although the indexes themselves give the interviewee code names so that relevant files can be consulted. The fourth series includes the surviving original oral history recordings, many of which have access copies which can be listened to in our searchroom. The fifth series are a range of resources compiled from the original recordings. These include an education pack as well as CDs holding short audio clips on a range of thematic topics. Finally there is a short series of records relating to an additional project undertaken in Slaidburn.

Administrative / Biographical History

Elizabeth Roberts was a postgraduate student when she undertook her first oral history project, 'Social Life in Barrow and Lancaster, 1870-1925' in the mid-1970s. Later in the same decade, whilst working at Lancaster University, Dr Roberts undertook a second related project, 'Social Life in Preston, 1890-1940'. These archives form one of the most important collections of oral history testimonies collected in the 1970s when oral history was a relatively new form of data collection. They are an important source for the history of working-class life in north-west England. In the 1980s Dr Roberts undertook a third oral history project, working with Dr Lucinda Beier on a project entitled 'Family and Social Life in Barrow, Lancaster and Preston, 1940-1970'. The archives formed the basis for Dr Roberts' ground-breaking work on working-class life in industrial towns, which has been published in various forms, including books and articles.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation, on production of a valid CARN reader's ticket. Please visit our website for more information.

Other Finding Aids

The full archive catalogue can be searched online

Personal Names