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Oral history project exploring the impact of asbestos in Glasgow

  • GB 249 SOHC 38
  • Coleção
  • 2019

Ongoing oral history project being carried out by Stellar Quines, a Scottish theatre company.

In the autumn of 2019, Stellar Quines created and toured 'Fibres', a play by Frances Poet about the impact of the shipyards and asbestos on a Glasgow family. It was inspired by a true story and mirrored hundreds of similar stories in Glasgow and the rest of the UK. In addition to producing the play, the company collaborated with Clydeside Action on Asbestos, one of Glasgow’s primary support services for those impacted by asbestos, to undertake an oral history project to gather some of those Glasgow stories .

The interviewer is Rosie Priest, Creative Learning Associate, Stellar Quines.

Stellar Quines

Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow lectures

  • GB 249 RPSG
  • Coleção
  • 2017 - 2020

Digital recordings of lectures, plus abstracts of lectures and biographies of speakers, from the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow's 216th, 217th and 218th lecture series.

Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow

'Doctor's orders' oral history project

  • GB 249 SOHC 64
  • Coleção
  • 2017 - 2019

Thirty interviews conducted by Stuart Bradwel as part of the Wellcome Trust-funded PhD studentship at the University of Strathclyde ‘Doctors Orders’ – Type 1 Diabetes and the Consultative Relationship, 1965-2002.

Whereas early physicians approached Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM) in the paternalistic fashion common to mid-twentieth century practice and expected strict obedience to prescribed treatment, in 2002 the Dose Adjustment for Normal Eating (DAFNE) programme was initiated. This reconceptualised the professional as a remote source of support while encouraging those with T1DM to take an active role in determining the character of treatment, adjusting their own dosages of insulin and dietary intake as necessary on a day-to-day basis. Consequently, the traditionally passive ‘patient’ was transformed into a legitimately meaningful actor with the power to refine therapy according to their own subjective values and priorities.

The project investigated the nature of this transition from physician- to patient-led care in orthodox T1DM management, making particular reference to a process of ideological evolution within the medical profession in light of growing evidence that an empowered patient-body led to superior clinical outcomes. There is little printed evidence concerning the lay-experience of T1DM, while professional volumes tend to be heavily editorialised. Consequently, oral history – from both those with T1DM and professionals – was identified as a promising methodological framework with considerable potential to produce valuable evidence. A total of thirty interviews (19 with people living with type 1 diabetes, 7 with healthcare professionals, and 4 with professionals with the condition) were conducted between 5th May 2017 and 3rd July 2019.

Bradwel, Stuart, PhD student at University of Strathclyde

Get a Chinese: stories of the Chinese community inside and outside the Chinese takeaway

  • GB 249 SOHC 36
  • Coleção
  • 2017

‘Get A Chinese: stories of the Chinese community inside and outside the Chinese takeaway’ was an eighteen month oral history project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and carried out by the Chinese Community Development Partnership. The aim of the project was to record the experiences of the older generation of Chinese people who migrated to the UK after 1950 and how they survived in an environment completely new and strange to them.

Fifteen elderly people from Chinese communities in the central belt of Scotland were interviewed by volunteer researchers in 2017. Almost all of the interviewees were born in Hong Kong and migrated to the United Kingdom after 1950. At that time, life was not easy in Hong King even in the city. In the rural areas where facilities were very limited, it was even worse. In these remote areas, young people lacked education and job opportunities. Unable to earn a living, many villagers tried to build a new life in the United Kingdom. After working hard for several years and saving up enough money, many set up Chinese restaurants and takeaway food shops. Working long hours in these eateries, many found it difficult to find enough time to learn English. Although managing to pick up some basic English in their daily life, language remained a big barrier and restricted their ability to integrate into wider society. By interviewing members of this ‘hidden community’ as the older Chinese community in Scotland has sometimes been described, the project hoped to help the public better understand their courage and determination and to change attitudes that had arisen towards the community due to a lack of understanding.

The interviews focus on the interviewees’ lives before they emigrated, their early experiences of living in Scotland, their current lives and the changes in Scottish society witnessed by them.

The culmination of the project was the publication of a book in both Cantonese and English recounting the interviewees' stories.

The collection comprises:

  • 15 recorded interviews (in Cantonese)
  • Time-coded summaries (in English)
  • Publication: Mitford, T. (ed.) (2019) Get a Chinese: stories of the Chinese community inside and outside the Chinese takeaway. Chinese Community Development Partnership.

Chinese Community Development Partnership

EU (European Union) referendum 2016 campaign literature

  • GB 249 T-EUREF
  • Coleção
  • 2016

Material produced in connection with the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum on 23rd June 2016. The question on the ballot paper was 'Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?'. The collection comprises communications circulated in Scotland and produced by the remain and leave campaigns.

Oral history project on the changing work identity of Govan's shipbuilders c. 1960-2016

  • GB 249 SOHC 33
  • Coleção
  • August - October 2016

Oral history project conducted in 2016 by Rory Stride as research for his undergraduate history dissertation, ‘“Proud to be a Clyde shipbuilder. Clyde built”: The changing work identity of Govan’s shipbuilders, c.1960-present.’ The collection comprises interviews with seven men who were employed as shipbuilders between c.1960 and 2016 at Govan’s three shipyards: Alexander Stephen and Sons, Fairfield’s, and Harland and Wolff. The interviews were conducted in a variety of places across Glasgow. The interview questions were semi-structured and largely directed by the responses of the participants. Topics discussed include trade unions, working conditions, occupational injury, masculinity, politics, staff camaraderie, redundancy and periods of employment at different companies. There is a focus throughout the interviews on indicators and expression of masculine identity including alcohol consumption, paid employment and macho attitudes in the yards. The interviews also cover the workers' interactions with the trade union movement, focusing on their experiences of strike action. In addition, some of the key episodes in the Clyde’s shipbuilding history during the twentieth century are covered including: the closure of Harland and Wolff; the closure of Alexander Stephen and Sons; the Norwegian company Kvaerner’s takeover of the Fairfield yard from British Shipbuilders in 1988 and the withdrawal of Kvaerner from Govan in 1999 which threatened the existence of shipbuilding on the Clyde heading in to the twenty-first century.

Stride, Rory, fl. 2016, student at University of Strathclyde

Greater Manchester Asbestos Victims Support Group oral history project

  • GB 249 SOHC 30
  • Coleção
  • 2014 - 2015

Oral history project, conducted in 2014-2015 by Nigel Ingham of the Open University on behalf of the Greater Manchester Asbestos Victims Support Group, interviewing members of the Group.

There were 7 interviews in total and the collection comprises audio recordings, full transcripts, summaries and photographs for all interviews.

The interviewees comprise 5 women, widowed through mesothelioma (an asbestos-related disease), and 2 men who at the time were current sufferers. Of the 5 widows, 3 had been bereaved for up to 10 years, while two others lost their respective loved ones in the previous 12 months.

The interviews cover life story details, the social and economic context in which asbestos exposure occurred, the patient journey with mesothelioma, as well as the individual, emotional, family and social impact of the disease. Heavy industries such as textile mills, power stations are featured in the material, as well as shops, schools, and other 'lighter' contexts. The trades of those exposed to asbestos include electrical engineering, painting and decorating, joinery, shopfitting, bricklaying and tiling.

Geographically, the material predominantly covers Lancashire and Greater Manchester, but also references London.

Temporally, the material covers the decades following World War II up to approximately 2015.

Greater Manchester Asbestos Victims Support Group

Scottish independence referendum 2014 campaign literature

  • GB 249 T-SI
  • Coleção
  • 2014

Material produced in connection with the Scottish Independence Referendum on 18th September 2014. The question on the ballot paper was 'Should Scotland be an independent country?'. The collection comprises communications produced by the Yes and No campaigns and various other interest groups.

Records relating to the conferral of an honorary doctorate upon Professor Sir Jim McDonald by Lodz University of Technology, Poland

  • GB 249 T-MIN/38
  • Coleção
  • 2013

Invitation to the Senate's Special Session on the occasion of the 68th anniversary of the Lodz University of Technology and the conferral of the degree of doctor honoris causa upon Professor Sir Jim McDonald, 24 May 2013; invitation to Ronald Crawford to post messages for Sir Jim McDonald in the Book of Congratulations at the office of the Rector of Lodz University of Technology; menu for a luncheon in honour of Professor Sir Jim McDonald, annotated with attendees' signatures and notes for a speech or toast given by Ronald Crawford at the luncheon; bound volume containing a facsimile of the honorary degree parchment, a Curriculum Vitae for Professor Sir Jim McDonald, a Laudation Speech by his 'Promoter' [presenter], Professor Slawomir Wiak, an Opinion on the scientific achievements, accomplishments and contribution of Professor Sir Jim McDonald by Professor Zygmunt Mierczyk of the Military University of Technology, Warsaw, a Review of Professor Jim McDonald's achievements by Professor Jan Szmidt of Warsaw University of Technology, and photographs of the highlights of Sir Jim McDonald's life and career.

Łódz University of Technology

Glenda White papers

  • GB 249 T-WHI
  • Coleção
  • 2010

One hard-bound copy and one electronic copy of Glenda White's unpublished PhD thesis: 'A Sort of Amateur Schoolmaster: The Life, Work and Influence of David Stow' (2 volumes and 1 CD, University of the West of Scotland, 2010); 7 spiral-bound volumes containing transcripts and other resources collected to supplement the thesis, entitled 'People involved in the Glasgow Infant School Society and the Glasgow Educational Society', 'David Stow's personal correspondence', 'Stow's school designs and equipment', 'David Stow's family tree', 'Schools in Scotland influenced by Stow', 'Transcript of the manuscript of the minutes of the Free Church Training College 1845-1865', 'Relevant newspaper articles and references'; CD containing an electronic version of David Stow's family tree; CD containing David Stow digitised resources.

White, Glenda Ann, fl. 2010, inspector of schools and educational consultant

Glasgow dock workers oral history project

  • GB 249 SOHC 18
  • Coleção
  • 2009

Oral history project, conducted in 2009 by David Walker of the Scottish Oral History Centre at the University of Strathclyde on behalf of Glasgow Museums, interviewing those who had earned their living working at Glasgow’s docks. A total of 17 men were selected as suitable for the project but in the end only 12 participated, with some becoming ill and others unavailable for interview. Although a smaller cohort was used than originally intended it did provide a representative sample of workers with experience of most of the docks that operated along the Upper Clyde at Glasgow and its environs. The group also had experience of many of the jobs undertaken such as electrician, plan maker and superintendent stevedore, plater, winch operator, checker, and crane driver. One additional respondent was interviewed who had never worked at the docks but had lived at Shiels Farm and had witnessed the opening of the still operational King George V dock in 1931. The average age of those interviewed was 72 with birth dates ranging from 1926 to 1947. All of the interviews were conducted at the respondent’s home with one exception which was conducted at the Scottish Oral History Centre.

The interviews were semi-structured in style which allowed the respondents to talk beyond their working lives. Hence the testimonies provide evidence of the daily work and conditions in which their working lives were undertaken but they also touch on other aspects of their lives, including family relationships, early job opportunities and trade union activities. The respondents were not only generous in donating their memories but also in providing photographic images which help illustrate the people interviewed, the types of ships that they worked on, buildings now demolished, and tasks undertaken such as handling large steel slabs, grain, coal or scrap iron. Although each interview was conducted separately there was some overlap in the recollections mainly due to the fact that many of the men knew each other as workmates and inevitably they were exposed to similar events in their careers.

University of Strathclyde | Scottish Oral History Centre

Men's work in heavy industries in Glasgow oral history project

  • GB 249 SOHC 8
  • Coleção
  • Original recordings, 2005

Conversations between Neil Rafeek and two men who spent their working lives as laggers in the Clydeside heavy industries. Topics covered include childhood and growing up in Glasgow, the Clydebank blitz, housing, domestic life, social life, football, sectarianism, gang culture, National Service, working conditions, trade unions, health and safety, asbestos.

Includes notes and draft publications relating to a project about the working culture and notions of masculinity in Clydeside heavy industries.

University of Strathclyde | Scottish Oral History Centre

Archibald McCunn papers

  • GB 249 OM/315
  • Coleção
  • 2004

Correspondence between McCunn and Andrew Hamnett, Principal of the University of Strathclyde; article on Colvilles-McCunn Flexible Tuyere Stock; photograph of a blast furnace.

McCunn, Archibald Eddington, b. 1927, engineer

Chemical workers oral history project

  • GB 249 SOHC 7
  • Coleção
  • Original recordings and transcripts 2004-2005

Eight interviews conducted by David Walker in pursuit of his doctoral research on ‘Occupational health and safety in the British chemical industry, 1914-1974’ (PhD thesis, University of Strathclyde, 2007: http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/6429).

The oral history project was designed to capture the human experience of working within the British chemical industry. The desired outcome was to find respondents with a range of job descriptions that had worked in different types of plant. Although comparatively small, the cohort interviewed represents a good coverage of the industry in that the plastic, chromate, explosive and fertiliser sectors are all represented.

In total, nine respondents were interviewed with one, Richard Fitzpatrick, being interviewed twice (Mr Fitzpatrick was 87 years old at the time and grew visibly tired during the first interview). Three respondents from Cheshire (who were related to one another) were interviewed as a group. Normally interviews were conducted on a one-to-one basis in the homes of the respondents although wives and other family members were also present in all cases, with the exception of one of the anonymous respondents from Dumfries who was alone.

The average age of those interviewed was 71, with birth dates ranging from 1917 to 1945. The employment histories of the respondents ranged from the late 1930s to the late 1970s.

All those interviewed were asked standard questions at the outset such as the respondent’s name, date of birth, where they were born, if they had brothers or sisters, if they had children, at what age did they leave school and what was their first job. Thereafter, in a relatively unstructured manner questions were asked of the respondents about the experiences they had in connection with the chemical industry.

With the exception of one former manager of a chemical plant all the respondents had worked as process workers or were related to family members who also worked as process workers. Why no former directors or technologists came forward to participate in this study cannot be explained by reference to the design of the recruitment material. One reason that may explain the general problem in recruiting respondents was made by two former process workers from Dumfries who admitted that their former colleagues had seen the recruitment article published in the local press but had refused to make contact because they were fearful that Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) would stop their pension if they talked to an outsider. Although ICI would not take such a step it is nonetheless interesting that former employees of the firm offered this as the reason for not sharing their memories.

Walker, David, b. 1956, historian

Interviews with George Wyllie for the National Life Stories project, Artists' Lives

  • GB 249 GW
  • Coleção
  • 2003 - 2004

Recordings and full transcripts of 6 interviews conducted with Wyllie by freelance oral history interviewer Jenny Simmons between 10 December 2003 and 15 March 2004. The interviews follow a 'life story' format, covering Wyllie's family background, childhood, education, work, leisure and later life.

Wyllie, George Ralston, 1921-2012, artist and sculptor

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