Oral history service

Everyone has a story to tell. Our oral history service offers our patients the opportunity to make an audio recording of their life story. Many people find telling their life story interesting and are pleased to have had the opportunity to put their memories on record. They also like having a copy of their oral history interview to keep.

What is oral history?
Oral history is the recording of spoken memories. It is the living history of everyone’s unique life experiences. Our oral history service allows our patients to make an audio recording. Most choose to talk about their life story and memories, but you can use the opportunity to make a recording in any way you wish. Some patients have chosen to make a ‘Desert Island Discs’ type of recording, where they choose their favourite pieces of music and talk about the reasons for their choices.

How does the service work?
A trained team member, or trained volunteer team member will guide you through an informal interview, where you’ll be prompted to recall your life experiences in your own time. You’ll wear a small microphone, and your oral history will be recorded on a digital audio recorder. The interview will take place in a quiet room at St Luke’s, or if you’re an inpatient, we can interview you at your bedside.

You choose what to talk about during an oral history interview, and you can choose to record your life story over several sessions if you wish.

What happens afterwards?
You’ll be asked to sign agreement and consent forms both before and after your oral history interview, giving us permission to make a recording, keep a copy of your recording, and to make copies for your friends and family if you agree. You can say on the form if you would like to put any restrictions on how your recording is stored and shared. Your oral history will then be transferred to a CD and you’ll be given a copy of the recording to keep. We have a CD player and headphones available for you to use to listen to the recording if you need them.

Further information
Our oral history service has been developed in partnership with The School of Nursing and Midwifery at The University of Sheffield, who have undertaken several studies since 2007 to evaluate the benefits of creating oral history audio recordings. For further information on the development of the service please visit The University of Sheffield’s Oral History Group here.

If you would like to take part in our oral history service or would like further information please contact Clare Williams on 0114 235 7492 or alternatively email here.