The Oral History Project
The Oral History Project was established here at the Cave Hill Campus in the academic year, 1974-75. Its objective is to facilitate research into under-documented areas of local history and to capture wider and more inclusive historical perspectives through the recording and archiving of first-hand eye-witness accounts.

Among the subjects prioritised for investigation are: plantation subdivision and village-formation; the origins of socio-cultural institutions such as friendly societies, fraternal orders and cricket clubs; mass politics and the labour movement; migration and return migration; the growth and consolidation of local businesses and the life histories of a wide cross section of West Indians. The Oral History Project has acquired hundreds of hours of interviews covering these and other subjects.

Some of our collections will be made accessible via the Internet, including some of our very extensive collection of history public lectures, interviews and associated photographs. See recent Barbados Museum & Historical Society - UWI Lecture Series Videos » .

The Oral History Project has collaborated with other UWI research units and with Government agencies in the planning and execution of projects requiring oral history methodology. The OHP has had the good fortune to be the recipient of collections from visiting academics. We have, for example, copies of the 1984 field recordings on everyday life in Barbados by anthropologist Connie Sutton and two major collections from Professor Mary Chamberlain. We are also beneficiaries of other private donations from studies undertaken by local scholars: Dr Aviston Downes, Dr Patricia Stafford and Dr Sharon Marshall.

The OHP organises training workshops and loans recording equipment to faculty and students engaged in a UWI research project utilising oral history methodology. The Oral History Project is a member of the International Oral History Association [] The Project maintains links with the Oral History Society in the UK and is listed in the Oral History Reader, Second Edition, [p. ]edited by Robert Perks and Alistair Thompson and published by Routledge in 2006. For further information contact:

Coordinator: Dr. Aviston Downes
Associate: Dr. Cleve Scott


Faculty of Humanities and Education
Telephone: (246) 417-4385/87 Fax: (246) 424-0634 E-mail: