Thanks to a generous award from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Trust has been able to transfer some 220 audio cassettes of interviews carried out over many years by the Trust’s research worker, the late Dr Ian MacDougall, onto digital format. The collection has been deposited in the School of Scottish Studies of the University of Edinburgh where it will be available for researchers.

In addition, the interviews are being transcribed in order to make them more easily available to archives, libraries and interested researchers. The material contained in these brings to life the experience of people across the country throughout most of the last century.

Interviews with 22 journalists include accounts of working on newspapers from the John O’Groat Journal to the Berwick Advertiser and the Southern Reporter. Others recount their days with, among other papers, the Scotsman, the Glasgow Herald, the Scottish Daily Express, the Dundee Courier, the Press and Journal and the Daily Herald.

Twenty-three miners reminisce about their very different experiences in the sometimes dreadful conditions of the pits of Fife and Central Scotland, while twenty Leith Seamen recall their frequently hazardous travels to all corners of the globe.

The quieter existence of librarians, but with its own excitements, comes out in interviews with fourteen public librarians.

Among the ten Leith shipyard workers the sheer range of trades and crafts involved in building and fitting out ships is striking, while the mainly women textile workers of Peebleshire recount their experiences in what were the once numerous mills of the Borders.

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