In her previous job at the British Library Sound Archive, APGRD archivist, Naomi Setchell, worked on the National Life Stories project. Now, Naomi is drawing on her experience to pioneer an oral history programme at the APGRD. The programme aims to capture, on digital audio, the memories and experiences of people who have been involved in a significant way with the history of the performance of ancient plays.
Preserving and hearing oral testimony is an invaluable addition to what is already held at the APGRD, as it documents the nuances of production that may be absent from existing archival sources. It reveals the perspective of the individual, the unique reasoning and influences behind the choices they have made, their emotional attachment to particular subjects and how all this might have impacted on their work.
This is the first time an oral history project will cover the post-war scholarship and performance of ancient drama in the UK through interviewing practitioners and academics about their life and work. The project was launched in early 2011 with an oral history by David Raeburn, a former Classics master who was a key figure in the Bradfield Greek Play and the International Delphic Institute.
Access to the recordings is currently on-site only, although plans to make some recordings available as an online resource are underway. If you have any queries regarding the project, an oral history of post-war ancient drama in the UK, please contact us.