Southland’s stories define who we are as a people and a province. Our project aims to capture and safeguard these stories as a collective memory of what it is to be part of this community. The project covers a broad range of subjects, not only the defining events in our local history but also our traditions, our everyday way of life and what it means to be a Southlander.
Using audio from the Oral History collection, the digital team here at the Library turned Jean's story about her childhood into a short animated comic.
There are currently more than 300 interviews in the ever-growing collection which you can listen to in the Archives Research Room. In addition to full-life interviews several special projects have been undertaken. These include a collection of topic-based interviews about the 1984 Southland floods; an exhibition called About Us: Voices of Southland and the Discovering Glengarry’s Community Spirit collection and project.
Oral history is 'the living memory of the past'. It is a record of information gathered in oral form, usually by electronic means, as a result of a planned interview. Through oral history we are able to document the lives of all kinds of people.
The Southland Oral History Project started in 2006 with the purpose of interviewing Southlanders about their life.
We aim to build a comprehensive collection that reflects life in Southland and what it means to be a Southlander.
Most of the interviews are life story interviews but we do have some topic based collections. Our interviews are done by trained volunteer interviewers and the Project is overseen by a Co-ordinator. The Project is actively supported by Heritage South and the Invercargill City Libraries and Archives.
You can listen to the interviews in the Archive Research Room. You need to sign a User Registration form and must adhere to any restrictions put in place by the interviewee on the Recording Agreement Form.
Yes our interviews can be used to support research. You need to adhere to any restrictions the interviewee has put on the Recording Agreement Form.
If you would like to use an extract in a publication then written permission from the Project Co-ordinator is required.
Most of our volunteers become interviewers. We also invite people to support the Project by abstracting recorded interviews.
This involves listening to interviews and creating a time-kept index to them. In both instances we provide a through training programme and continue to support you throughout your time with us. For more information simply email the Project Co-ordinator.
Yes you can. Suggestions are welcomed and encouraged. Information can be emailed to us or you can call and leave a message for the Project Co-ordinator. Please note that as we are reliant on volunteers to undertake the interviews we cannot guarantee that we can interview everyone suggested to us.
The best interviewees are people with clear memories and the ability to tell good stories when recalling the events of their life.
The SOHP Project Co-ordinator is available to give presentations. The presentation includes extracts from collection and the Co-ordinator can provide a sound system for playing these.
As the Co-ordinator only works 7 hours per week. Please email Project Co-ordinator to arrange a time to catch up.