North East Collections >

Beamish Museum
North Tyneside Libraries
Royal Northumberland Fusiliers Museum
Teesside Archives
Thorpe Thewles History Group
Tyne and Wear Archives Service
Woodhorn (Northumberland Collections Service)

 

Collection websites contain:
 Transcripts / Summaries  Audio files              Video files            
 

Beamish Museum                                                                                                   
Regional Resource Centre, Beamish Museum, Stanley, Co. Durham, DH9 0RG
Contact: Jo Bath, Oral History Archivist
Telephone: 0191 370 4000 Fax:
Email: jobath@beamish.org.uk

Collection description:
All oral histories are held in a single collection, the Oral History Archive or Audio Archive. This currently comprises about 1200 recordings of which around 800 are oral histories. Many have been collected by museum staff, from the early 1970s onward, for a variety of purposes - others are donations of collections from other projects and organisations. We are still actively recording and taking in donations - since 2004 there has been a specialist staff member who has also digitised the collection for easy access and preservation. The collection covers all aspects of life and the north east of England (with occasional forays elsewhere eg: with military service).
Summaries of recordings can be searched for on the Museum website. 

Recordings relating to World War II:
150 (Total includes recordings solely focused on wartime experience & life histories which include references to wartime experiences)

Subjects covered: 
Home Front Evacuees  British Army Royal Navy Royal Air Force Merchant Navy Prisoners of War (in German/Italian camps) Women's Land Army Holocaust related   Women shipyard workers

Format of recordings:
Audio - all or some with transcripts
Access:
Researchers can hear audio and read transcripts in the Regional Resource Centre. This is open 10-4 Monday to Friday, booking is required in case the room is in use by someone else. Outside these hours it may be possible to negotiate purchase of copies of specific materials.
Related products:
CDs including extracts of recordings on Home Front life & Evacuees are used by the education department along with object loans boxes.
Current status: The collection is still under development

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North Tyneside LibrariesTyne Lives                                                          
Central Library, Northumberland Square, North Shields, Tyne and Wear, NE30 1QU
Contact: Doreen London, Senior Assistant ICT
Telephone: 0191 200 6294 Fax:
Email: doreen.london@northtyneside.gov.uk

Collection description:
The aim of Tyne Lives is to make information on local history available on-line to schools.
Many of the projects are suitable for primary school children. By using a combination of oral histories, maps, photographs, and newspaper cuttings the projects allow children to understand how our community survived the war years, and the sacrifices made by the women of North Tyneside. The site is interactive and visually attractive with many of the projects containing fun activities to encourage learning.

Current status: The collection is currently being developed and includes oral histories on North Shields at the turn of the twentieth century, and the local fishing industry. The link to the oral history page is: http://www.tynelives.org.uk/oral/links.htm  

Collection description: The World War II oral histories include:
Wartime Evacuee - Dougie Milburn describes his adventures as a wartime evacuee.
Air Raids - Dougie Milburn describes how as a small boy he felt living with the fear of air raids. Barrage Balloons - Dougie Milburn talks about the barrage balloons that warned of impending air raids.
The Bombing of the Goods Yard - Dougie Millburn describes the bombing of the Goods Yard. The Bombing of Saltwell Park - Dougie Milburn relates the events of the Saltwell Park bombing.
War-time Radio -Dougie Milburn recalls the radio broadcasts of Word War 11

Recordings relating to World War II: 
6 (The recordings are solely focused on wartime experiences)

Subjects covered: 
Home Front Evacuees 

Format of recordings:
Audio - all or some with transcripts
Access:
Access to the oral recordings can be access at: http://www.tynelives.org.uk/oral/links.htm. Anyone wishing to reproduce, exhibit, or make commercial use of an oral recoring in any medium including, CDs, DVDs, newspapers, books, television, films, computer programmes and public exhibitions must seek permission from North Tyneside Libraries and Museums.
Related products:
The oral histories are part of 'Women at War in North Tyneside', which incudes images, extracts from diaries and newspaper articles depicting the everyday lives of women during World War II. This can be found on http://www.tynelives.org.uk/
Current status: The collection is still under development
Additional notes:
Our collection is particularly strong from a child's perspective of the war. What it felt like to be an evacuee and personal experiences of the nightly bombings.

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Royal Northumberland Fusiliers Museum
The Abbot's Tower, Alnwick Castle, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1NG
Telephone: 01665 602152 Fax: 01665 605257
Email: fusnorthld@aol.com 

Collection description:
The Museum holds a number of audio and video recordings, including interviews with senior officers and an ex-POW. Contact the Museum for further information.

Recordings relating to World War II:
8 (The recordings are solely focused on wartime experiences)

Subjects covered: 
British Army 

Format of recordings:
Audio
Video
Access:
The archives office is open to researchers Monday to Friday, 10 am to 2 pm, by appointment only. Please telephone on 01665 602152 to arrange an appointment giving a minimum of 2 weeks' notice. This service is free of charge although donations are always much appreciated.

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Teesside Archives
Exchange House, 6 Marton Road, Middlesborough, TS1 1DB
Contact: David Tyrell, Senior Archivist
Telephone: 01642 248321  Fax: 01642 248391
Email: teesside_archives@middlesbrough.gov.uk

Collection description:
Teesside Archives Oral History Collection was the result of a project in the 1980s to interview inhabitants of area about their life histories. The collection consists of approximately 800 recordings together with corresponding transcripts.

Recordings relating to World War II:
80 (Life histories with references to wartime experiences)

Subjects covered:
Home Front • Evacuees

Format of recordings:
Audio - all or some with transcripts
Access:
Due to the age and fragility of the tapes we prefer users to look at transcripts. These are some copying restrictions on some of the testimonies. We prefer prior notice if possible but there are no charges for using the collection.
Current status: The collection is no longer being developed

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Thorpe Thewles History Group
2 Mill Terrace, Thorpe Thewles, Stockton-on-Tees, Cleveland TS21 3JS
Contact: Mark Smith, Group Archivist & Webmaster
Telephone: 01740 630014
Email: mark.smith30@virgin.net

Collection description:
To date Thorpe Thewles History Group holds around 30 one hour video film tape recordings and a similar number of digital audio recodings (most of which have the same audio content as on the above mentioned video film) covering wartime experiences of people in and around the Parish of Grindon in what was formerly south-east County Durham. This archive contains some locally important recollections of the Kiora AA Gun Battery, the 1941 bombing of Fulthorpe Cottage plus some information about several local Auxiliary Unit Opertions Bunkers. The above recordings were made in conjunction with a Lottery Heritage funded DVD Project (2008) - "A Snapshot of Thorpe Thewles in the Twentieth Century" (100 minute duration) plus a further project, part funded by a CBA Challenge Funding Award, entitles "Thorpe Thewles District War Time Memories & Monuments Project", (2008-2009).

Recordings relating to World War II:
30
(Includes recordings solely focused on wartime experience & life histories which include references to wartime experiences)

Subjects covered: 
H
ome Front • Evacuees • Women's Land Army • ATS (Auxiliary Territorial Service) • Home Guard • German Prisoner of War (in Allied camps) • Italian Prisoners of War (in Allied camps)

Format of recordings:
Audio
Video
Included within a DVD
Access:
The recordings will be fully archived in 2009 to 2010 after on-going TTHG projects related to their first phase of compelation of this collection have been completed. Access to the recordings will be available by prior arrangement and for non-commercial reasons.

Related products:
Edited wartime related parts of the collection have been included in the relevant section section (approx. 25 minutes in length) DVD entitled "A Snapshot of Thorpe Thewles in the Twentieth Century". This 100 minute long DVD was produced on behalf of TTHG in 2008 by Middleton House Productions. Limited copies of the DVD are available for a donation to the TTHG of £8 plus P&P.

Current status: The collection is still under development
Additional notes:
This is a unique collection from the area in and around Grindon Parish, formerly in south-east County Durham. It is particularly stong on the Thorpe Thewles Home Guard, The AA Battery and later PoW Camp adjacent to Kiora Hall (north-west part Stockton-on-Tees), local home front memories plus some references to local Auxiliary Operational Bunkers in the area.

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Tyne and Wear Archives Service
Blandford House, Blandford Square, Newcastle, Tyne and Wear, NE1 4JA
Contact: Liz Rees, Chief Archivist
Telephone: 0191 277 2248 Fax: 0191 230 2614
Email: twas@gateshead.gov.uk

Collection description:
'Women at war' (reference: accession 2482a) & 'DLI at war' (reference: accession 2482g).
These are CD-ROM copies of BBC tapes held here that have been digitised as part of a collaborative project with Living History North East. Access to these CDROM recordings is available in our public search room.

Recordings relating to World War II: 
2 collections (Recordings are solely focused on wartime experiences)

Subjects covered:
Unspecified

Format of recordings:
Audio - no transcripts
Access:
Details of our location and opening hours are available on our website http://www.tyneandweararchives.org.uk/
Current status: The collection is no longer being developed

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Woodhorn (Northumberland Collections Service)                                           
QEII Country Park, Ashington, Northumberland, NE63 9YF
Contact: Sue Wood, Head of Collections
Telephone: 01670 528080 Fax:
Email: collections@woodhorn.org.uk

Collection description:
We hold in excess of 500 oral history recordings made over the period 1971-2008. The recordings are of people either living in Northumberland or with a connection to the county and cover a range of subject areas. The interviews were largely conducted by staff of the County Archives Service although we do hold a number of recordings that were made as part of local projects independent of the work of our Service and have been subsequently deposited with us. Almost all of the recordings are on open access and can be accessed via our public service - full details of which are available on our website - www.northumberland.gov.uk/collections.

Recordings relating to World War II:
45 - approx (Includes recordings solely focused on wartime experience & life histories which include references to wartime experiences)

Subjects covered:
Home Front • Evacuees British Army (Northern Europe) WAAF (Women's Auxiliary Air Force) Women's Land Army German Prisoner of War (in Allied camps) Bevin Boys
Note: This is not a definitive list, please contact us for more information.

Format of recordings:
Audio - all or some with transcripts
DVD (included with)
Access:
Details of our recordings can be found in our e-catalogue accessible from our webpages - www.northumberland.gov.uk/collections. We are currently in the process of mounting 5 minute soundbites from each recording into the catalogue and users will be able to access these soundbites via their own PC. We are also placing digital copies of each recording onto the public access PC in our Audio Booth in our searchroom at Woodhorn. Users can listen to full length recordings in this way. However, we do ask that users provide advance notice of a proposed visit to listen to recordings. In some instances it is possible to purchase digital copies of recordings from us. All enquiries should be sent to collections@woodhorn.org.uk. In many cases the copyright in the recording has been assigned to the service - we can advise on usage rights in relation to individual recordings.
Current status: The collection is still under development

Additional notes:
The collection is particularly strong in the areas of the expereinces of child evacuees and Bevin Boys.

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This website is continually being updated. If you would like to suggest a collection which should be included, please contact me.