Dundee University Archive Services have been recording the memories of people who have lived and worked in Dundee and the surrounding area. Musicians, jute workers, academics, designers and poets are just a few of those whose experiences have been captured

Clips of recordings about the jute industry in Dundee and India are now available. So too are clips from recordings about the music scene in Dundee and from the Talking Shop event. Clips from the Design Out Loud event will be available soon.

Oral testimony offers a very personal insight into history and culture. It often provides an alternative view of events and trends and gives an appreciation of the lives of people from all walks of life. Sometimes intimate and often intriguing, the recordings look back through the lives of the participants. They afford the listener an understanding of the hopes, dreams and realities of life.

Alistair Brodie recording his oral history and telling about his life and work with musicThe Dundee University Oral History Project has so far recorded nearly 100 testimonies of life in and around Dundee in the 20th and 21st centuries. Themes of family life, community, work and leisure are common to all the participants, and over the coming months we will be posting snippets of our conversations here on the website.

The Project celebrates the recordings via a series of evenings that combine clips from the testimonies with stories, music and poetry. These events are open to everyone and provide an opportunity for chat and reminiscence.

The first evening, 'Talking Textiles', featured clips from jute workers and songs from Sheena Wellington and children from the Thomson Leng Youth Music Theatre.  

The second event, 'Musical Roots, saw performances by Alice Marra's community choir and Craig Weir, reminiscences by Ged Grimes and Breeks Brodie alongside film of musicians and bands from Dundee.

The third evening, 'Talking Shop', focused on commerce in Dundee, with poetry by Gary Robertson complementing clips that tell of life in department store GL Wilson and the impact of companies such as Timex and Alliance Trust. Most recently, 'Design Out Loud' explored the world of comic art, graphic design, illustration and fashion design.

If you would like to participate in the Dundee University Oral History Project, please contact the Archive