We do oral history to inspire social change. We record the memories of people and places. We turn them into podcasts, artworks, books, websites & audio walks.
How we work
Participation is at the heart of what we do. All our projects are devised through extensive consultation and shaped by volunteers and participants. This means the people involved play an active role in recording history and make decisions about how it is shared with others. They come away with new skills for work and life.
We are a co-operative, which means that our members make decisions about On the Record together.
We are a not for profit organisation, registered as a Community Interest Company. This means we do not distribute profits to our members and that we exist to benefit the wider community.
Who we are
Before co-founding On the Record, Rosa Schling (previously Vilbr)’s oral history experience included ‘Working Lives of the Thames Gateway’ for Eastside Community Heritage, ‘Britain at Work’ for History Talk and the ‘Past Project’ for African Heritage Educational Centre. She has a decade’s experience of project management, working in oral history, homelessness and community development. Projects include a youth media project in the West Bank and the ‘Hackney Housing History Project’, an oral history project. She studied History at the London School of Economics, was trained in oral history on the Life History Research MA at London Metropolitan University and has an MA in Heritage Studies from University of East London. Rosa is a skilled trainer and has developed training courses in advocacy, oral history and homelessness. She specialises in participatory training courses for diverse groups, is an experienced facilitator of meetings and events and previously worked as a forum coordinator supporting volunteers and volunteer led groups for the charity Housing Justice.
Laura Mitchison has worked on oral history, heritage and arts productions for all manner of organizations, including the V&A Museum (oral history, dramaturgy, research), the Women’s Library (audio guide), Eastside Community Heritage (oral history interviewing, training volunteers, delivering intergenerational workshops, writing publications, radio and publicity) Spread the Word (interviewing, portrait photography, exhibition curation). She brings media skills to the dissemination of oral history projects. Her photography work and writing has appeared in Index on Censorship, the Economist Intelligent Life, the Times, the Camden New Journal, Creative Revelations Magazine, Prospect online and Honduras This Week. Laura has a first class degree in Philosophy (University of Sussex), an MA in Human Rights (Institute of Commonwealth Studies). She completed postgraduate training in Life History Research while employed on the ‘Working Lives of the Thames Gateway’ project. Laura has also been a visual arts facilitator for adults and young people with learning difficulties.
Chloe Marley has a background in the museums and heritage sector. At university she studied business in relation to the strategies of national museums, and went on to gain an MA in Preventive Conservation. She has experience working in a number of national museums, and has three years experience working as an archivist for an oral history charity. It was here that she first became interested in oral history, and relished the day-to-day challenges of managing the digital collection. Chloe continues to work in a collections care capacity within the heritage sector.
Michael Pavey is a Councillor in the London Borough of Brent. He has ten years experience as a project manager in the public and voluntary sectors, specialising in regeneration and community empowerment. Michael is passionate about history and heritage. He has a first class degree in Economic History from the LSE and a Masters Degree from the University of Warwick. In his spare time Michael is Chair of Governors of one of the largest primary schools in the country, as well as two Sure Start Children’s Centres.
Jenneba Sie-Jalloh left formal teaching to work in the arts and heritage sector. She has worked as project manager, programmer and workshop facilitator and as a consultant for the British Council. Jenneba has had poetry, essays and fiction published in a number of anthologies. In 2008 she completed an MA in writing and has just finished her first novel. She has a deep interest in oral history and edited ‘All Saints and Sinners’, a collection of interviews capturing the experiences of a group of teenage boys (amongst them her father) who stowed away from Sierra Leone in the 1940s and settled in Notting Hill, London.
Aims & activities
- Improve opportunities for people to participate in heritage and cultural activities
- Amplify and preserve the voices of those who are ‘hidden from history’
- Increase people’s self-confidence, well-being and skills
- Build respect between, for example, older and younger people, newly arrived and settled people
- Use oral history in new and unusual settings both within the heritage sector and beyond
What we do:
- Run exciting oral history projects
- Give training and advice on oral history to other organizations
- Build partnerships with and between community groups, museums, archives, policy institutes, schools, and any other groups who could benefit from oral history projects
- Teach new and empowering skills
- Create exhibitions, publications, audio walks, radio programmes, films, new media workshops, events and other activities