Oral historians

Brooks, Margaret (8 of 8).  Oral History of Oral History

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  • Type

    sound

  • Duration

    01:34:12

  • Shelf mark

    C1149/30

  • Recording date

    2013-02-12, 2013-04-09, 2013-05-15, 2013-07-16, 2013-09-053-07-17, 2013-09-24, 2013-11-13, 2013-12-04, 2014-01-22, 2014-02-19

  • Recording locations

    The British Library

  • Interviewees

    Brooks, Margaret (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Wilkinson, Robert (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 8: [Session five 5 September 2013] Margaret no longer interviewed from 1990s onwards. They did have team discussions about projects. They interviewed soldiers in current conflicts. Talks about recording the conflict in Northern Ireland. A number have been restricted. 40-50 interviews were done on-going project. Mentions a court case over handing back partisans to the Yugoslav government. They were subpoenaed to hand over tapes relevant to the case, but never were asked to do so in the end. Encouraged interviewees to assign copyright most do. A project started looking at the logistics side of war. [13:30] Interviewed UN weapons inspectors. Still some gaps in the Second World War that need recording. Commonwealth War graves staff have been interviewed. More involvement with exhibitions at all of the IWM sites. Talks about the Northern Museum at Trafford and the need to have temporary exhibitions as less permanent displays in the museum. Use of sound in teaching written extracts were used in GCSE papers. [26:00] The museum had its own publications department. Outside publishers used direct quotations Forgotten Voices series for instance. Development of research facilities at the museum. Departments are so disparate difficult to have a single standard of categorisation. Audio recordings are difficult to access information on. Talks about the challenges of cataloguing sound archives. [40:30] Digital recordings they kept the reel termination from open reel tapes. Explains the process of copying and storing. Some copies kept at Duxford. Other format recordings apart from analogue. [49:00] Collaboration with other museums, mostly one offs. Some reciprocation with regimental museums. Increased interest in World War 1 and personal experiences being used in education. Deficit of interest in the Korean War. [58:00] Keepers were all made redundant in 2010. New staff were on different and lower pay scales to those of most Keepers. More cost effective to management to make this grade of staff redundant. Now no specialist curatorial departments. Still dedicated interviewers and cataloguers. There is a head of collections who allocates funding. Sound has received much less money than before, in part due to lower cost of materials. Two staff interviewers and several freelancers who are recording. [1:05:20] The sound archive no longer had a champion after Christopher Roads left. No extra funding as a result of books using sound material. The film archive did have a typist to summarise their films they used her from time to time. Some BBC recordings did have typescripts. Some use of freelance transcribers but generally too expensive. [1:11:30] Margaret did not want to go when the posts were abolished. Some talk of her continuing as a freelance interviewer, doing a history of the IWM but nothing came to pass. Busy with volunteering etc. [1:18:00] Both parents are still alive, both live with their second spouses in the US. More about family life. Reflection on role within the IWM. Frustrations of finance and lack of staff. The museum is unique and the way and content of what they collected is also unique. Reflects upon oral history as a method. Excitement of what is recorded and how stories often complement each other. Need for facilitators to enable the material to be used. An interview with Enoch Powell who said he wished he had died in the Second World War. End of Interview.

  • Description

    Life story interview with Margaret Brooks, former archivist and head of the Imperial War Museum’s Sound Archive.

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