Telling Our Stories is a community heritage and oral history project.
Our aim is to find, share and celebrate the hidden histories of Devon’s diverse and multicultural communities, past and present.
We do this in two ways: through historical research (using archives, historical books, photographs and other sources) and through oral history interviews.
By uncovering new or hidden heritage stories, we aim to complete and to complicate the historical picture of Devon. Devon’s history is often depicted in ways which ignore its diversity and imply that the county’s past was ‘all white Anglo-Saxon’. It wasn’t. We aim to put more (and more complicated) histories back into the picture.
Through building an archive of contemporary oral history interviews we aim to preserve, share and celebrate the voices, stories, experiences, and memories of the wide range of people who live in Devon today.
We do all this so that the voices we listen to and the stories we remember today and into the future are more diverse, representative and inclusive than the ones we’ve heard before.
Our interviews have been with local residents who have diverse ethnic, cultural, faith or heritage-based identities. Our definition of ‘diverse’ heritage or identity is broad. It includes people with inter-European migration stories, and first, second and third generation citizens.
The project is powered by communities. Throughout, it has involved local volunteers, local ideas, local spaces, and local voices.
Our public-facing and research activity has been made possible with the support of heritage partners Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life, The Museum of Dartmoor Life, The Burton at Bideford, and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum (2012 – 2013).
The project is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.