Southland Oral History Project

Ngā Pakiwaitara Tuku Iho o Murihiku

The Project

Southland’s stories define who we are as a people and a province.  Our project aims to capture 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.

The Project is actively supported by Heritage South and the Invercargill City Libraries and Archives. For more information check out the 2021–2025 Southland Oral History Project Strategic Plan.

Accessing the collection

There are over 400 recordings in the collection. Most of the collection has been recorded since the early 2000s, plus a few earlier recordings. The collection includes both full life history interviews and topic-based interviews from around the Southland region.

You can find out what oral history interviews we hold by searching the Archive using the link below. You can search our collection using names, subjects, and keywords.

You can read abstracts of many of the recordings (a detailed time-coded index providing quick access to the content of the recording) and you can view photographs where these are available. In time we hope to further enrich the online experience by making audio extracts of the recordings available.

If you want to listen to a recording you will need to visit the Invercargill Public Library where they will be made available to you in our Archives Research Room. Please ring or email in advance to make an appointment.

Use of the collection

The contents of the Southland Oral History Project collections are subject to the conditions of the Copyright Act 1994.

Please note that in accordance with the agreements held with interviewees, additional conditions regarding the reproduction (copying) and use of the items in the Southland Oral History Project collections may apply.

Takedown requests

We strive to do our due diligence in gaining adequate permissions for all content publicly available through the Southland Oral History Project.

Learn more about our Notice and Takedown Procedure, including how to submit a request.

Want to help?

Our project relies heavily on volunteer support. Most of our volunteers become interviewers. We also invite people to abstract recorded interviews; this involves listening to interviews and creating a time-kept index.

In both instances we provided thorough a thorough training programme and continue to support you throughout your time with us. If you are interested in getting involved simply complete the form linked below.

Interested in being interviewed?

The Project aims to record as many stories as possible from people who were born in Southland or who moved here at some point in their lives. We are interested in your personal experiences of everyday life (childhood, schooling, family life, work, leisure activities) as well as personal recollections and perceptions of particular history events.

If you would like to be interviewed or suggest someone else to be interviewed then please complete the form linked below:

Interested in being interviewed?

The Project aims to record as many stories as possible from people who were born in Southland or who moved here at some point in their lives. We are interested in your personal experiences of everyday life (childhood, schooling, family life, work, leisure activities) as well as personal recollections and perceptions of particular history events.

If you would like to be interviewed or suggest someone else to be interviewed then please complete the form linked below:

Contacting the Project Coordinator

The coordinator is generally available from Tuesday to Friday from 9am to 12.30pm. However, it is recommended that you make an appointment to meet, especially if you are visiting from out of town or need to access a recording urgently.

The Southland Oral History Project is led and proudly supported by: