Digging up memories: Collaborations between archaeology and oral history to investigate the industrial housing experience

Kerry Massheder-Rigby


This paper forms part of a wider PhD project exploring whether there can be an informative research relationship between archaeology and oral history. Its focus is on the working class housing experience in the North of England during the Industrial Revolution period. Oral history as a discipline applied within archaeological investigation is growing in popularity and in application in the UK as a form of ‘community archaeology’. Evidence suggests that there is potential for combining the memories of oral history testimonies and the physical archaeological evidence from excavation to enhance our understanding of an event, person, time and place. However, establishing what evidence of the housing experience survives in an archaeological context and what survives in memory is crucial to the success of a combined investigative approach. This paper will use the example of The Public Archaeology Programme of the site Dixon’s Blazes as a relevant example in which to explore this, with evidence of sanitation, overcrowding and architecture surviving in both.


Oral History, Memory; Public Archaeology; Housing Experience; Glasgow

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.23914/ap.v4i2.60


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Copyright (c) 2017 Kerry Massheder-Rigby

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