We’re Hiring! Oral Historian, Islington’s Pride

Islington’s Pride – Preserving, Archiving and Celebrating Islington’s LGBT+ Heritage.

 Outline Brief for an Oral Historian

1       Client

The London Borough of Islington (LBI), funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF), wishes to hire an Oral Historian to help deliver an important and substantial aspect of the Islington’s Pride LGBT+ heritage project.

2       Aims

Islington’s Pride is an archive for the future. The project is creating an archive focusing on the London Borough of Islington’s LGBT+ heritage. With much of this heritage on the brink of being lost, this project uses the key methods of education, outreach, preservation and exploration to preserve Islington’s LGBT+ history.

3       Background and overview

Islington has a thriving LGBT+ community with an important history going back many decades.

The project has focused on collecting, archiving and sharing material from the LGBT+ community from the late 1940s to the present day. Some of the most important key events in UK LGBT+ history have occurred in Islington, including the first public gay rights protest in Britain, which took place on Highbury Fields (1970), first UK openly gay member of parliament, Chris Smith, MP for Islington South & Finsbury (1984) and first UK legal afterhours club, Trade, an LGBT+ club opened in Clerkenwell (1990), to name but three.

We have concluded that some areas of LGBT+ heritage can only be recorded through oral history. In order to preserve and collect these at-risk histories, we are hiring an Oral Historian (OH) to collect approximately 25 oral histories, which includes approximately 5 video recorded oral histories. The OH will work alongside the Project Manager (PM) to ensure the timely collection, organisation, editing etc. of the oral histories. Both the OH and the PM will be supported by the Volunteers on this project.

This project is in its final year of completion and will fully concluded on December 31st 2020.

4       Requirements of the Oral Historian

  • The OH will interview, record and collect, edit and transcribe the oral histories from the persons identified by the PM and the Heritage Team.
  • Working alongside the PM to identify the chosen subjects, the OH will coordinate schedules and liaise with subjects to determine when the oral histories will be collected.
  • Once oral histories are collected, the OH is expected to time-stamp recordings, and working alongside the Volunteers and PM, to audio transcribe the necessary elements.
  • The OH will video record a select number of oral histories, and edit these files as necessary.
  • The OH is expected to work to a timely schedule, to deliver completed digital files that will be used in conjunction with the digital design agency, to create the Digital Landscape.
  • As well as the above, the OH is required to assist on an ad hoc basis with volunteers (managing, supporting), attend meetings, outline logistics and manage relationships with subjects, in partnership with the PM.
  • The OH will be supported by the PM and the Volunteers throughout the agreed timeline.

5       Competencies Required

  1. Experience of working on community and oral history projects.
  2. Experience of oral history interviewing techniques and methodology.
  3. Good communication skills, both written and verbal.
  4. Experience of digital recording/interviewing techniques and methodology.
  5. Experience of editing digital audio and video recordings.
  6. Knowledge of local history and research methodology.
  7. Experience of recruiting and supervising volunteers.
  8. Ability to work on own initiative, adhere to deadlines and to work as part of a team.
  9. Ability to relate to people of all ages, from a variety backgrounds and from diverse social and cultural groups.
  10. A strong interest in LGBT+ history and heritage is desirable.

6       Timetable

The Oral Historian will be contractually to work from March 2020 until the end of April 2020, with an estimated timeline not to exceed 27 days of freelance employment.

7       Reporting Arrangements

The Oral Historian will liaise directly with the Client (LBI Heritage Project Manager) and will:

  • Keep the Client informed of progress on the project and the need for additional information.  Inform the Client immediately of any likely delays or problems.
  • Attend meeting(s)  as appropriate with members of the design team and the Client, including informal presentations of work in progress.
  • Present draft material to the Client for approval (or amendment/revision) prior to any public consultation exercises.

8       Remuneration

Following guidelines from the Oral History Society, the day rate for the Oral Historian will be £300, over an agreed set of days.

To apply: please send a CV and covering letter, outlining your suitability by responding to the competencies required in Section 5.

Closing date for applications is Tuesday, February 11th, with interviews scheduled to take place on Tuesday, February 18th.

For further details and to apply, please contact:

Seán McGovern, Project Manager – Islington’s Pride

245 St John Street, London EC1V 4NB

T: 020 7527 7973 E: sean.mcgovern@islington.gov.uk

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