LIVES IN THE OIL INDUSTRY - Oral History of the UK North Sea Oil and Gas Industry
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The Project: Origins

Lives in the Oil Industry was initiated by The British Library National Life Story Collection and the University of Aberdeen. It is a work of conservation and preservation of the personally experienced culture and history of the UK’s involvement in arguably the twentieth century’s most important industry.

The project comes in a line of oral histories covering the fields of industry, society and the arts recorded by The British Library since the start of the National Life Story Collection in 1987 by Professor Paul Thompson.

It was realised that, although there was a great deal of information about the oil and gas industry in printed and visual form, there was an alarming lack of first hand information - primary evidence - from the people who had been the industry, had made it happen, and from people whose lives had been materially affected by the industry.

Aberdeen was the logical base for the project. This historic regional capital of North East Scotland, for centuries a centre of maritime trade, fishing, agriculture, granite quarrying and manufacturing industry, was chosen by the oil industry to be its main centre for the development and operation of the North Sea oil and gas fields. The University of Aberdeen, founded in 1495, is the United Kingdom’s fifth oldest university and one of the country’s most prestigious centres of learning and research. It has a strong interest and practical involvement in the oil and gas industry.

The project personnel included a panel of experts in the fields of oral history and labour history drawn from the University of Aberdeen and The British Library under the direction of Terry Brotherstone. A New Zealander, Hugo Manson, co-founder of the NZ Oral History Archive, was appointed Project Manager/Interviewer in 2000.



This page last modified: Thursday, 18-Nov-2010 11:45:25 GMT

Website maintained by: Hugo Manson
Department of History · University of Aberdeen · Aberdeen AB24 3FX