Work on a project

Oral history volunteer: LGBTQ+ Pride in Suffolk's Past

Sharing Suffolk Stories: Pride in Suffolk’s Past

The project is two-fold, to explore and share the past stories of homosexuality and bi-sexuality in the Suffolk Archives but also to collect contemporary stories of Suffolk’s LGBTQ+ Community to document the experiences of Suffolk residents through a period of monumental societal change towards gender identity.

We have a strong group of research volunteers who have been delving into the archives to discover LGBTQ+ stories including those relating to high profile residents, experiences of ordinary people, and experiences during the AIDS/HIV period in the 1980’s. They have also been researching the press coverage and linguistics relating to the topic within the archives too.

In addition to this research, we will be hosting several events around the county to collect memories, photos and memorabilia, including oral histories, ensuring our holdings are resonant of Suffolk society today and meet our Collections Development Policy.

It is at these sharing events that we would love to have a volunteer to manage and undertake the recording of the oral histories and associated tasks.

The dates of the collecting events are Saturday 21st March in Ipswich, Saturday 28th March in Bury St Edmunds, Saturday 4th April in Lowestoft and Mon 6th April in Ipswich. You could attend all, some or just one of the events.

What's involved?

Reporting to the Community & Learning Officer (East or West):

  • Carry out oral history interviews to collect stories about the LGBTQ+ community in Suffolk at the Pride in Suffolk’s Past collecting events. Training will be provided.
  • Take an interest in the contextual research in order to influence your knowledge as an interviewer and broaden understanding of the subject.
  • With support, create a plan with suggested interview questions.
  • Liaise with other staff and volunteers working on the project.
  • Ensure recording equipment is operational and tested before interviewing. Check the recording format and storage instructions and you are happy to proceed.
  • Conduct interviews in a friendly and professional manner.
  • Record the interviews and safely deposit them as instructed.
  • Ensure all relevant paperwork for the interview is completed.
  • Make sure all data is securely stored and in compliance with GDPR legislation.


Other potential tasks after the events, based on your interests, skills and time:

  • Coordinate opportunities to share and engage new audiences with research findings.
  • Be involved with the transcription and editing of the recordings – training can be given.
  • Write articles for Suffolk Archives' Social Media channels.
  • Support requests for information requested for the Suffolk Archives' website or media opportunities about the project.
  • Support evaluation of the project with requested project information and feedback.
  • Support the Exhibition & Interpretation Officer in curating exhibitions and events at The Hold.

Why get involved?

  • Opportunity to develop oral history recording skills, whilst enabling people to discover their own local history.
  • Opportunity to discover the hidden LGBTQ+ History of Suffolk and engage with a provocative history which has not been told before.
  • Chance to meet volunteers and the general public.
  • Enjoyment and fulfilment.
  • Travel expenses are refunded.

How to get involved?

  1. Sign into your account or sign up to Volunteer Makers.
  2. Accept the challenge.
  3. Await a response from Suffolk Archives with more information.

Ideal Skills

  • Event Stewarding
  • Hands-on and practical work
  • I'm based near Lowestoft
  • I'm based near Ipswich
  • I'm based near Bury St. Edmunds

Ideal Interests

  • Community Engagement
  • Events and Programming
  • Local History
  • I'm based near Lowestoft
  • I'm based near Ipswich
  • I'm based near Bury St. Edmunds

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