Mapping Oral Histories of the Law: Appeal for Information

National Life Stories at the British Library has commissioned a Legal Lives Scoping Study, to look at relaunching the National Life Stories Legal Lives project. The reinvigorated Legal Lives project will use oral history interviews to explore the developments within the legal profession and legal system since 1945.

The project is interested in the life stories of those working within the legal profession, including paralegals, legal secretaries, legal executives, advocates, barristers, solicitors, judges, and those involved with legal advice in organisations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau.

Chris Monaghan, a Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Greenwich, is compiling the Scoping Study. He would be incredibly grateful for any help in mapping oral histories of the law that currently exist – particularly those where there is likely to be little trace of a collection in an online catalogue or webpage.

Chris will be completing the research phase of the Scoping Study by early March. He would be very keen to hear about:

• Any interviews that you have recorded both now and in the past, which have involved members of the legal profession talking about their lives, career and changes in the legal system;

• How the interviews that you carried out were recorded, the length of each interview and whether the recordings currently are (or could at some point be made) available to the public; and

• Any existing collections of interviews (recordings and transcripts) that you know to exist and whether these are publically accessible. If you are able to help with accessing or contributing any of these materials, please contact Chris Monaghan directly.

You can find out more about the Legal Lives project - including material already collected at http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/findhelprestype/sound/ohist/ohnls/Legal%20Lives/legal.html