INTRODUCTION

Oral history is a way of collecting information about the past through interviews with people about their life, memories and the period in history through which they lived. Oral histories can offer a more personal perspective on the past than textbooks or documentaries.

TASK

Listen to some of these extracts from oral histories which have been collected by Hackney Museum.They are all collected from Jewish people who were born mainly in the 1920s and lived in Hackney and the East End.

As you listen try to identify the common themes spoken about, by dragging the relevant coloured boxes into the blank spaces next to the interviewee you are listening to. To support your listening you can download transcripts of each edited interview.

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EXTENSION

Choose one oral history interview to focus on. Using this storyboard template, create a short documentary film sequence of visuals to accompany key moments from the interview.  Think about how you would bring the speakers’ words to life and which extracts from the interview you would incorporate.  What sort of images would you include? Where and when would you move between shots of the speaker, archive images and graphics?

Watch

This short film is based on a version of Solly Kaye’s interview. Watch it for ideas of how you could storyboard a sequence for one of the interviews above. Or use it as a starting point for thinking about your own film based on an interview with one of your grandparents, uncles, aunts or senior family friends.
 

Further Research

Follow these links to find out more about some of the interviewees.

KEN HAMMOND
www.mikegold.info

SOLLY KAYE
www.theguardian.com
www.grahamstevenson.me.uk
www.eastlondonhistory.com

JOE LOBENSTEIN
www.wikipedia.org

AUBREY MORRIS
www.theguardian.com
www.oldabtarians.co.uk
www.redpepper.org.uk

SAM STOLLER
www.geograph.org.uk

WILLIAM MASSIL
www.spitalfieldslife.com
www.books.google.co.uk

 

Oral histories courtesy of Hackney Museum and Alan Dein.