Collection SOHC 6 - Coal miners and dust-related disease oral history project

Identity area

Reference code

GB 249 SOHC 6


Coal miners and dust-related disease oral history project


  • Digital copies, 2016 (Creation)
  • Original recordings, 2002, 2004-2005 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

16 compact cassettes + 23 MP3 files + 26 MS Word files + 2 folders

Context area

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 SOHC ID was SOHCA/017. In addition to the title "Coal miners and dust-related disease", the material has occasionally been referred to by the title "Social history of coal-dust disease". At times its content has also been listed as a component of SOHC "Work and health in Scotland oral history project" and of SOHC "Clydeside heavy industries oral history project". The original recordings were made predominantly in 2004-2005 using a cassette recorder. In 2016, they were digitised to uncompressed, unaltered 24 bit/96kHz BWF format for preservation and 16bit/48kHz MP3 copies created for access.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Oral history project "Coal miners and dust-related disease" aimed to reconstruct the story of the human tragedy of coal miners' respiratory disease. It sought to "write the history of 'black spit' from its early discovery by Scottish physicians in the 19th century, through to the official recognition of coal workers' pneumoconiosis in 1942 and on to the campaigns to recognise bronchitis and emphysima as industrial diseases in the second half of the twentieth century that culminated in the landmark legal judgement in January 1998".

Of a reported number of 52 interviews undertaken, 27 survive as sound recording and transcript (14) or transcript only (13).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

14 interviews whose sound survives were listed first, in roughly chronological order.

These are followed by 13 interviews that survive as transcripts only, in chronological order.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

6 interviewees requested anonymity. Otherwise no access restrictions.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • English

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

    Subject access points

    Place access points

    Name access points

    Description identifier

    Institution identifier




        McIvor, A and Johnston, R (2007) \Miners' lung: a history of dust disease in British coal mining\ (Aldershot, England ; Burlington, VT : Ashgate), pp. 319-324: appendix (lists entire oral history project)

        Accession area