Collection SOHC 4 - Asbestos-related diseases in the West of Scotland oral history project

Identity area

Reference code

GB 249 SOHC 4


Asbestos-related diseases in the West of Scotland oral history project


  • Digital copies and transcripts, 2016 (Creation)
  • Original recordings, 1998-2000 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

16 compact cassettes + 67 digital files (21 BWF, 20 MP3, 26 MS word files) + 44 analogue questionnaires
Paper, compact cassettes and digital files

Context area

Name of creator

(b. 1956)

Biographical history

Arthur McIvor is professor of social history at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, and a specialist in the history of work and occupational health. He is the joint author, with Ronnie Johnston, of 'Lethal work: a history of the asbestos tragedy in Scotland' (2000) and 'Miners' lung: a history of dust disease in British coal mining' (2007).

Name of creator

(Established 1995)

Administrative history

The Scottish Oral History Centre (SOHC) was set up within the Department of History at the University of Strathclyde in 1995. Since its foundation the SOHC has been involved in a wide range of teaching, research and outreach activities designed primarily to encourage the use of ‘best practice’ oral history methodology in Scotland. Until 2005, the SOHC was directed by Professor Callum Brown, since then by Professor Arthur McIvor.

Archival history

Transferred from SOHC in 2015 and 2016. The project's original ID was SOHCA/016. In addition to the title "Asbestos-related diseases in the West of Scotland", the material has been variously referred to as "Social Impact of Asbestos on Clydeside project 1998/1999" and "Scottish Occupational Health Oral History Project (SOHOHP)"; at times it is also listed as a component of the "Work and health in Scotland oral history project", as well as of the "Clydeside heavy industries oral history project". The original recordings were made 1998-2000 using a cassette recorder. In 2016, they were digitised to uncompressed, unaltered 24 bit/96kHz BWF format for preservation. Enhancements were made to improve sound quality where necessary and 16bit/48kHz MP3 copies created for access.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

27 interviews with sufferers from asbestos-related disease and/or members of their families. Sound recordings and transcripts (17), transcript only (10), or sound only (1). Also questionnaires.

Anonymity was assured to all project participants. Only Owen and Margaret Lilley (SOHC 4/14) opted out.

One recording had been mistakenly aggregated with this oral history project but was found not to relate to asbestos. As a result , there is no interview with the reference number SOHC 4/12.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Restricted. Please contact University of Strathclyde Archives to enquire about access.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

    Script of material

      Language and script notes

      Physical characteristics and technical requirements

      Finding aids

      Allied materials area

      Existence and location of originals

      Existence and location of copies

      Related units of description

      This collection is part of the Scottish Oral History Centre Archive.

      Notes area

      Alternative identifier(s)

      Access points

      Place access points

      Name access points

      Description identifier

      Institution identifier


      • English



        • Johnston, R and McIvor, A (2000) 'Lethal work: a history of the asbestos tragedy in Scotland'
        • Gorman, T; Johnston, R; McIvor, A and Watterson, A (2004) 'Asbestos in Scotland', in 'International journal of occupational and environmental health' 10: 183–192
        • Johnston, R and McIvor, A (2007) 'Narratives from the urban workplace: oral testimonies and the reconstruction of men's work in the heavy industries of Glasgow' ('Testimonies of the city: identity, community, and change in a contemporary urban world', ed. J Herbert and R Rodger)
        • McIvor, A (2013) 'Working lives: work in Britain since 1945'

        Accession area