Comprises 205 oral history interviews conducted by Andrew Whitehead (with a small number by other interviewers) as research for the BBC World Service radio series 'India: A People Partitioned' (1997; 2000); the BBC Radio 4 programme 'An Incident in Kashmir' (2003); and Whitehead's published history 'A Mission in Kashmir' (Viking Penguin, 2007). Oral histories include an original deposit of 146 interviews about the Partition of India recorded in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh between 1995 and 1998. Interviews focus on the lived experience of Partition and the events of 1947 among ordinary people of Hindu, Muslim and Sikh heritage. Interviewees include individuals who lived through Partition as political activists (in particular those in the Indian communist movement); survivors of violence; refugees; soldiers; and journalists; as well as witnesses to Partition who later became leading cultural or political figures in South Asia [Reference: OA3/01/01-OA3/01/16]. There are an additional twelve oral history interviews recorded in 2000 with notable political figures from India and Pakistan, which focus on the legacy of Partition for India-Pakistan relations and the Kashmir conflict [Reference: OA3/01/17]; and an additional forty-seven oral history interviews, recorded between 1992 and 2007, primarily relating to the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 but also including some broader accounts of Partition [Reference: OA3/01/18]. Interviews are predominately in English, with a small number in Hindi, Urdu, Bengali and Punjabi (most with a running English translation). There are accompanying transcripts, partial transcripts and summaries for interviews [Reference: OA3/02]. These transcripts were compiled by Whitehead for working purposes and are therefore indicative rather than a definitive record of the contents of the sound recordings.
The collection includes five photocopies of articles by Andrew Whitehead drawing on the oral history interviews, published as an occasional series in the 'The Indian Express' newspaper in 1997 [Reference: OA3/03]. There are also audio-files of the broadcast recordings of the BBC radio programmes based on the interviews: BBC World Service series: 'India: A People Partitioned' (1997, 2003) and BBC Radio 4 documentary 'An Incident in Kashmir' (2003) [Reference: OA3/04].