Candle_RIPI guess it’s the same in most industries: word gets around very quickly when any member of that industry passes away.

At the Oral History group, there is a little extra nuance to hearing the sad news  about any of our colleagues, as well as those we have simply heard of. Our mission is to capture the stories and opinions of people throughout the audiovisual media community in recorded interviews. And so there is a sense whenever the sad news of a death arrives, to realise that whatever stories and thoughts that person has shared with his or her colleagues, there will be no more to add – at least from that person.

Oral Histories are an important way of preserving those stories: together they build a wonderfully rich account of an industry and a community, of value to researchers as well as to friends and acquaintances.

But all our personal memories add to the picture of that person, and when shared, they add to our common understanding of the milieu that we work in and of what went before. And so at every meeting – and by email between meetings – we share such news when we hear it. The names are listed in the minutes of each meeting. But up until now, that’s been as far as that list has gone – shuttered away on a rarely-opened file.

So we are now adding each quarter’s list to the pages of our website, together with a selection of hyperinks – where available – to obituaries, personal memories and other writing about the person concerned. Some of those people – but never enough of them – have been interviewed for Oral Histories, most of which are held by the National Film and Sound Archive. We’ve noted in several other blog entries and talks at our meetings of the difficulty in finding these interviews – especially for those less familiar with NFSA’s Search The Collection catalogue – and of the fact that the interviews are rarely available on line, or even as transcripts. However, where such interviews are listed, we have, at least, added the link to the catalogue entry.

link to VALE lists

Names recorded at the four meetings we held in 2018 are now on the website here. Earlier lists may be added progressively, as will new ones each quarter.


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