Oral histories

Oral histories are an important feature of our collection. Oral history is the process of recording and preserving people’s memories, opinions and unique experiences. It records social history and is especially valuable in preserving the voices of those who have traditionally been hidden from history.

Many of the oral histories in our collection have been created through community and education projects run by our Education Trust. You can read more about the projects on the Trust website. We also hold oral history collections that have been donated.

You can read transcripts and/or summaries of oral history interviews in the library - ask for them at the enquiry desk. Some original recordings can be listened to on request - please contact us for details.

Roots Family History Project

Life story interviews carried out with members of the Manchester African and Caribbean communities in the 1980s and 1990s. Audio and transcript available from 26 interviews. Donated by Maria Noble and Elouise Edwards.
Catalogue coming soon

Exploring Our Roots

74 life story interviews carried out by young people, as part of our own project. This collection includes transcripts and audio and video recordings with people of Sikh, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian, Chinese, West African and Caribbean heritage, all living in Manchester. There is also a large collection of donated photographs.
Collection catalogue (PDF)

The Distance We Have Travelled

26 transcripts of anonymised interviews, completed as part of our own project, in which Kurdish, Afghan and Somali refugees talk about their lives before, during and after seeking asylum in the UK and Manchester.
Catalogue coming soon

Pan-African Congress 50 Years On

6 audio interviews and transcripts created in 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Pan African Congress held in Manchester in 1945. The interviews are with those who were living in Manchester in 1945 and some who attended the Congress, including Sam Nelson and Alfred Gaisie. Donated by Robin Grinter.
Catalogue coming soon

Ann Adeyemi

Life story and reminiscemces of a Manchester woman of Irish and Liberian heritage. Ann's mixed-race mother was born in Salford in 1920. Ann has donated family photographs and other ephemera, as well as her interview. Donated by Ann Adeyemi.

Yemeni Roots, Salford Lives

20 audio interviews (currently unavailable), with written summaries, recorded with members of the Salford Yemeni community in our own project, with photographs.
Catalogue coming soon

Lisapo - The Congolese Tales

30 interviews drawing on the narrative oral histories and cultural traditions of the Congolese community living in Manchester. Written summaries available. Donated by Peggy Mulongo. More information on the Lisapo project website.

Afro Solo UK

39 life stories of African life in Greater Manchester, 1920 - 1960. Donated by SuAndi.

Nana Bonsu

details coming soon

The Nimba Tales

details coming soon

Voices of Kosovo in Manchester

details coming soon