One of the most important elements of our work is the recording of first-hand testimonies and personal narratives from ordinary people in everyday situations, as well as their cultural expressions in the form of songs, stories, crafts, and other lore. These recordings not only form an important archival resource for future generations, but also feed directly into our contemporary work within our contributors’ communities.
Examples of oral histories can include almost any aspect of an individual’s life experience, from reminiscences of working life, childhood and wartime, for example, to knowledge of local industries and community events; likewise, an individual or community’s folklore can include anything from local songs and music, tales and legends, proverbs and weatherlore, to crafts and building techniques, or aspects or farming and fishing culture, for example.
Documenting these vernacular expressions is key to uncovering the unique facets of local identity and the connection of people to place; hence, the collecting of folklore and oral histories is a means to create excellent resources for promoting a community’s engagement with and its confidence in its local culture.
Local Voices comprises professionally trained ethnographers, carrying out professional-level folklore and oral history fieldwork using industry standard equipment and sound ethical and practical principles.
To read about some examples of our past fieldwork, please see our Projects page.