Oral Histories is a key part of CELEBRATE project. Because much of the LGBT history is un-written or un-documented, we hope to reconstruct the LGBT history in Cumbria through people’s real life stories.

You can help us by getting involved in:

  • Five Simple Steps
    1. Initial Contact

    Once you get in touch with us, we will have a brief conversation with you on the phone to make sure that we have made everything clear to you before you agree to take part.

    1. Time & Location

    We will then try and arrange a location, date and time to speak with you in person – you can pick any quiet location that you feel comfortable in and a date and time that you won’t feel rushed.

    1. Agreeing to be Interviewed

    One of our trained interviewers will meet you at your chosen location, and they will again make sure everything was made clear before you officially agree to the interview and the recording.

    1. During the Interview

    The interview can last as long or as short as you feel comfortable with, and you can choose to stop or pause the interview and/or the recording during the time; you can also decline to answer any question that you don’t feel comfortable answering.

    1. After the interview

    The interviewer will send you a copy of the recording and the transcript/summary when they are ready. This is to make sure that you are happy with the content of the recording. If needed, you can request reasonable editing and restrictions for the use of the material.

You will also be informed if any of the stories you have shared with us are featured in publicity material, our website and other events additional to the archive and the exhibition.

Get Involved

Email: info@celebratecumbria.co.uk or Phone: 07956 336872


What is Oral History?

Oral history is a wonderful methodology used to enhance our understanding of the past and help to preserve our cultural heritage. People are interviewed by trained staff about their lives, memories and experiences of work, or particular hobbies or events; the interviews are digitally recorded and then professionally archived for use by present and future researchers. Extracts from these valuable resources may be used in a range of project outputs such as books, exhibitions and websites.

Sometimes oral history is really the only way to learn about the past, especially where there is little or no documentary evidence, or where it is flawed or untrustworthy.

For us, oral history is a vital tool to learn more about LGBT people in Cumbria, about what it was like to embark on that journey of self-discovery in a rural northern county, and to appreciate the challenges for individuals and their families and friends. It is important to us that we hear first-hand accounts of what it was like to be part of the LGBT community; or perhaps you didn’t feel that you were part of that or any other community? We don’t know – but we’d like to learn your story!

If you’d like to learn more about oral history, click here. Also take a look at the portfolio page to see what other projects have been doing.

Who Can Get Involved?

We welcome any one who has a story related to the LGBT people & community in Cumbria. This could include:

  1. LGBT people who are from or currently live in Cumbria;
  2. LGBT people who have strong connections to Cumbria or have stories and experiences in Cumbria that are related to their identity; e.g., People who went to school or university in Cumbria; couples who met in Cumbria or got married in Cumbria;
  3. Friends and Family of 1 and/or 2;
  4. Professionals who work with 1 and/or 2;
  5. Anyone who believes that they have a good relevant story to share.

Want Kind of Questions will I be Asked?

Most of the questions will be related to your own life and/or professional experience related to the LGBT lives in Cumbria. This may include your school, work and family lives, and anything else you feel important to share.

You can choose to stop or pause the interview and/or the recording during the interview; you can also decline to answer any question that you don’t feel comfortable answering.

Can I Remain Anonymous?

Yes. You can use a chosen pseudonym.

Additionally you can also require other restrictions on the recording – for example, you may choose to allow us to use an edited version of your recording whilst the original full version remains closed for a selected period.

We will make sure that you are fully comfortable with the recorded material before publication or deposition into the archive. A copy of the recording and the transcription will be sent to you for checking before any of the material is used in CELEBRATE.

We would also like to protect the anonymity of others – if you have to mention someone in your stories, please make sure that the content does not violate other people’s privacy and confidentiality – the story you share might be well-known among friends, but it might not be heard yet by the grans! This might also affect how or whether we can use the stories you have contributed.

How Do I Get Involved?

Simply get in touch with us at info@celebratecumbria.co.uk or call 07956 336872

Oral History Training and Support Provided by

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