Archive Reference NumberManchester Studies
Accession Number1103
TitleManchester Studies Collection
DescriptionThe bulk of the interviews in the collection take people briefly through their lives in chronological order but then concentrate the questioning on particular aspects of the respondent's experience which is of relevance for the interviewer's research. The collection is particularly strong on the following issues: -Domestic service - trace young womens' movement into this key area of employment. Useful for illustration of notions of femininity, deference and class, illustrate issues of occupational choice, domestic routines, lifestyles, education and social aspiration. -Cotton industry - concentrate on social relationships in the workplace, gender issues, supervision and control, working conditions and routines. Relation of mill to wider community and the politics of cotton communities. -International Brigade - experience of those involved in the International Brigade (i.e. non-Spanish people who fought against Franco in the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939). Useful for information about labour and Communist Party (CP) political life during the 1920s and 1930s, unemployment, trade unionism and internationalism. Respondents came from all round the country. -Ordsall / Tripe Colony / Victorian dwellings - tapes emerging from 'area surveys' where a number of workers would make door to door visits asking in a small area whether people would be willing to be interviewed. Resulting tapes are very varied but useful for information about poverty, schooling, housing as well as information about the areas themselves. -Poverty / housing / Wythenshawe - enquiries focusing on housing, poverty and redevelopment (mainly 1930s) issues. Useful for those looking at changing social values and expectations in the inter-war period. Slum clearance and the mechanics of re-housing. -Occupations - odd tapes on specific occupations - very variable in quality. -Maternity / health - explores the issues surrounding womens health and particularly the campaigns about reducing levels of maternal mortality in the 1930s, midwifery etc. The collection includes some interviews conducted by Jill Liddington. The interviews vary considerably in terms of recording quality and adequacy of interviewing. They are concerned with Greater Manchester and are not Tameside specific.
Date1970s-1980s
Extent764 items
Administrative HistoryThe Manchester Studies Oral History Collection was created by Manchester Studies Unit between 1974 and 1985. The Unit, which was based at Manchester Polytechnic (now Manchester Metropolitan University) which was funded from a variety of sources - these included the Manchester Studies Trust, Manpower Services Commission and various other bodies. The Unit was primarily concerned with the collection and preservation of local history materials, which reflected the lives of ordinary working people. It sought to make this material accessible through local repositories to which the general public had right of access. The collection of oral evidence formed part of the Unit's remit, the tape collection developed as a by-product of this work.
Custodial HistoryIn the early 1990s the Manchester Studies Unit was disbanded; consequently the tape collection was re-homed. The collection was divided and deposited in three repositories, namely the North West Sound Archive, Manchester Jewish Museum and Tameside Local Studies Library. As a large portion of the collection related to the experiences of the Manchester Jewish Community, it was deemed that the museum was an appropriate location for that part of the collection. The remaining collection was deposited with Tameside Local Studies Library. Although the tapes do not have a clear geographic focus (direct references to Tameside are limited), this particular library was chosen for two reasons: - the library had demonstrated an active commitment to the collection, development and preservation of oral evidence - the Tameside Oral History Interview Collection contains over 180 tape recordings of elderly Tameside residents; - the documentary and archive material held within Tameside Local Studies Library complimented the main subject matter of the tapes (e.g. one area explored with interviewees was employment within the cotton industry). Additional material that had been gathered during the course of the oral evidence project was deposited with local repositories such as local studies libraries and record offices. Photographic material, which was not accepted by the above, formed the basis of a new photographic collection. This is now held in the Documentary Photography Archive, which is housed at Greater Manchester County Record Office. Copies of some of the tapes are held at the North West Sound Archive, Manchester Archives+. They include tape numbers 455, 471, 472, 473, 513, 520, 521, 549, 566, 567, 568, 571, 676, 725, 727, 728, 729, 731, 744, 946, 970, 994, 995, 1002, 1003.
Physical DescriptionThe tapes are recorded at 3,75 ips on open reel tapes. Most interviews last approximately 1.5 hours (i.e. both sides of the tape). They should always be wound back with the 'green leader' part of the tape outwards.
Access ConditionsVirtually without exception the interviews that form the collection were undertaken on the basis that they should be made available to anyone with a serious interest without restriction. They may be used for publication without further permissions being sought whenever the respondent is not being identified by name. Where users wish to publish material making extensive use of the collection and identifying the respondents by full name they should contact Tameside Local Studies and Archives. The convention for citing tapes from the collection in publication which users should be encouraged to use is as follows: e.g. Mr. S.T. Manchester Studies Tape 342 Tameside Local Studies and Archives (i.e. Use name initials, archive tape number including Manchester Studies reference and reference to Tameside Local Studies and Archives).
TypeOral History
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