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Oral Histories

What is an oral history?

One way of finding out about the past is to ask someone who knows about it. Oral history is a way of preserving the past by recording the unique life experiences of ordinary people. Oral histories capture both the memories and the voices of people as they tell their stories, and allow us to share in very personal accounts of events, places and periods from our history.

Oral Histories of the City of Ryde

These interviews were recorded in the late 1990s with long-term residents of the Ryde area. 

The aim was to establish a collection of oral history recordings that reflect the history of the district, as seen through the eyes of a wide range of long-standing local residents. The focus of the interviews is therefore people-centred rather than topic-centred. Interviews are specific in that they deal with life in the Ryde district between 1920 and 1960. 

Each interview contains a fully searchable transcript with audio extracts and images. Paper-based versions of transcripts as well as original recordings and photos are available by contacting the Local Studies Librarian on 9952 8222.