This Oral History Projects page lists projects alphabetically by name and highlights films that have been produced on the Windrush Scandal and/or about the Windrush Generation. The final section points to the existence of personal archives.
Our Oral History Resources page offers a selected list of oral histories that relate to Black British Caribbean communities (including the Windrush Generation and post-Windrush Caribbean-descended communities). You can click on an icon on the page to learn more about each resource.
A selection of educational shorts, documentaries and films can be found here.
Some oral archives house recordings of events, meetings and happenings that would fall more comfortably under the category of ‘orality’ – e.g., the community meetings that were recorded by John La Rose and held at the George Padmore Institute. They are nevertheless included as it is clear that those recordings were made consciously, with the intention they would be used at a future point, as historical material.
If you are aware of any private oral history collections or public oral history resources that are not listed below, please email us: firstname.lastname@example.org This page will be updated until end July 2024. Any information you provide will help to build a better understanding of the disparate archives that exist across the UK.
Listed Alphabetically by Project Name
African Caribbean Achievement Project
The African Caribbean Achievement Project (acap.org.uk) have conducted an oral history project on a number of themes including on sound systems and their founding principles. These recordings can be listened to here. They also produced a book, Windrush Three Generations.
Birmingham Black Oral History Project
Audio recordings of people who arrived in Birmingham as part of the Windrush Generation are being made available online for the first time by Birmingham Museums. The oral histories, which were recorded in the 1990s, feature the life stories of people who first came to the UK from the Caribbean between the 1940s and 60s. The recordings were the result of the Birmingham Black Oral History Project, established in 1990 with the aim of preserving the memories of the oldest living generation of African Caribbean and South Asian migrants to Birmingham with recordings and photography.
The physical recordings are held at University of Birmingham, Cadbury Research Library, Special Collections under Archives of the Birmingham Black Oral History Project. Listen to the digitised archives here. And here to read how the full collection has been structured.
Britain at Work: Voices from the Workplace 1945 – 1995
The Britain at Work: Voices from the Workplace 1945-1995 project interviewed people from a diverse range of backgrounds about their experience of work including those who are Caribbean-descended, e.g., Lily Crawford (Jamaica),Dermot Davis (Barbados), Glenroy Watson (Caribbean British),Frank Bailey (Guyana), Frank Murray (Guyana) and Sheila Emmanuel (Dominica). For audio and transcripts of the interviews go here.
Digging Deep Heritage Project
A selection of over 50 oral histories from former coal miners of African Caribbean heritage, participants of the Digging Deep heritage project, are available here. Permissions are required in writing from Nottingham News Centre CIC for publishing and broadcasting use as both image and text are subject to copyright. For more information on Black Miners can be found here thanks to the work of Norma Gregory.
Fares Please! – An Oral History of London Bus Workers
This online archive of recordings contains stories from people who worked on the buses. Some like Carl Scantlebury (born 1941, Barbados), Karleen Mcpherson (born 1962, Jamaica), Vic Turton (born 1945, Barbados) and Roy Heath (born 1951, Jamaica) are from Caribbean region.
Journeys: An Oral History of Migration to SW London
Journeys: An Oral History of Migration to SW London is a collection of 24 interviews conducted by young people. It covers the stories of immigrants who arrived in the UK between 1948-1971 and includes recordings of people from the Caribbean as well as the Indian sub-continent and beyond. See Documenting Life Stories through Creative Participation for a blog on the project’s approach to documenting these stories.
Kings Cross Railway Workers
This Kings Cross Railway Workers project contains 25 interviews that were conducted as part of the Digital Works programme with Railway Workers at Kings Cross. Two of the interviews are with people of Caribbean heritage and members of the Windrush Generation: Andy Gibson who was born in Barbados in 1957 and Lloyd Barnet who was born in Jamaica in 1934.
Memories of the Reading Windrush Generation and the Descendants
The Memories of the Reading Windrush Generation and the Descendants is ‘a series of oral history recordings developed by members of Reading’s local Caribbean community and accessible online. The recordings include the memories of Caribbean-born migrants to the UK: Anderson Springer (Barbados), Grace Browne (Barbados), Neville Nelson (Jamaica), Nordia Nelson (Jamaica) and Rod Welsh (Barbados).
The Black Frontline
The Black Frontline project has conducted 300 oral histories with Black doctors and nurses in the United States, the United Kingdom and Ghana. For each territory, there are 10 links to stories from publications that offer greater understanding into the work of global Black healthcare workers. Click here to listen to the testimonies of Black healthcare workers in the UK. Identifying characteristics of the respondents have been anonymised.
The Black Trade Union Oral History Project
This project is creating and will promote a digital archive of voices and testimonies that capture and acknowledge the history of Black trace union activism in the UK for future generations. As well as collecting testimony the project hops to collect archives, artefacts and documents to establish the TUC Library at the London Metropolitan University as the leading centre for the history of Black trade unionists in Britain. Seven interviews have been collected to date including TUC Race Relations Committee members A J Singh, Taranjit Chana, and Elizabeth Cameron, and former members Lorna Campbell and Micky Nicholas. For further information on this project contact Jeffrey Howarth <email@example.com>; or Wilf Sullivan, Secretary of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists.
The Colour of Love project
Colour of Love Project (2019) recorded the memories of 16 mixed race couples and their families. These recordings were transcribed into book ‘Colour of Love’, which is available at New Art Exchange, Nottingham Contemporary and Five Leaves book shop. The original recordings were deposited in the Nottinghamshire Archives. To read more about this project click here.
The Legacy of Wolverhampton Project
The legacy of Wolverhampton project has recorded interviews with over a 100 residents who migrated from the New Commonwealth in the mid-20th century. These recordings are available online and can be accessed here. The original recordings are held at the Wolverhampton City Archives. Further information about the archive can be obtained from Dr Richard Hawkins (R.A.Hawkins@wlv.ac.uk), the Chair of the BE-ME foundation which oversees the project.
The Making of Black Britain
The Making of Black Britain is an oral history project founded by TV presenter/broadcaster, Diane Louise Jordan. The online site is dedicated to telling the diverse stories of Black Britain and was created to mark the 75th anniversary of the 1948 British Nationality Act and the mass migration of British colonial subjects to the ‘motherland’.
Windrush: Portrait of a Generation
The photographer, Jim Grover, recorded conversations with many of his photographed subjects. These oral histories have been transcribed for a 245-page book – Windrush: Portrait of a Generation, which accompanied an exhibition of the same title. Click here to learn more about this project.
Stephen worked on the Shades of Memory Project in Preston. It was a community history module at UCLAN and interviews were used to create micro-histories of Preston’s Caribbean Community. For transcripts of these histories contact Stephen on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yvonne Singh conducted five interviews with Windrush descendants during the pandemic (entitled The Real Lonely Londoners). The histories were transcribed in shorthand over the phone and then written into third person interviews. For access to these interviews contact: email@example.com Her father’s story, A West Indian Immigrant in 1960s Britain: A Real Lonely Londoner, is featured on the official website for BBC History Magazine, History Extra and speaks to his Indo-Guyanese and experience of moving to Britain from Guyana in the early 1960s.
Many thanks to Yvonne Singh for sharing this information on 19 July 2022.