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National Life Stories: An Oral History of the Wine Trade

An Oral History of the Wine Trade comprises recordings offering an insight into the wine trade from the 1930s until 2004 and is a vivid testimony to the key changes and events in the UK wine trade.

This project, a collaboration between National Life Stories, The Institute of Masters of Wine and The Vintners' Company, recorded 42 life story interviews with workers in the wine trade, both past and current, between 2003 and 2005.

The collection allows an exploration of topics such as:

  • starting out in the trade
  • women in the trade
  • cellar workers
  • the changing trade
  • 'Old World' vs. 'New World' wines
  • the transformation of the wine trade into an industry

Partners and sponsors

  • The Institute of Masters of Wine
  • The Vintners' Company

Accessing the collection

To access oral history material:

  • Search for oral history recordings held at the British Library using the online Sound and Moving Image Catalogue (see useful advice on searching the oral history collections).
  • Onsite access to oral history recordings: The Listening and Viewing Service in St Pancras provides free public access to the oral history collections on an appointment basis. Many digital recordings are also available via SoundServer, a computerised listening facility located in the Humanities Reading Rooms.  SoundServer is also available at the British Library’s site in Boston Spa in Yorkshire.
  • Internet access to selected oral history recordings: The British Library Sounds website gives remote access to a selection of interviews from the Library’s oral history collections. Some recordings are currently only licensed to Higher and Further Education users in the UK, others are available for full public access.

Further information

Contact us

Oral History
The British Library
96 Euston Road
United Kingdom

T +44 (0)20 7412 7405 (Rob Perks, Lead Curator, Oral History  / Director of National Life Stories)
T +44 (0)20 7412 7406 (Mary Stewart, Curator, Oral History / Deputy Director of National Life Stories)
T +44 (0)20 7412 7404 (Elspeth Millar, Archivist, Oral History)

Media files

Media files on this site can be played using Windows Media Player. See our website technical settings page for details.