Goodison Fellowship 2015: Food Matters

Polly Russell

Polly Russell and Barley Blyton are food writers and academics. They were 2015 Goodison Fellows at National Life Stories where they focused on the 'Food: From Source to Salespoint' oral history interviews.

Published date:

The Fellowship allowed us to dedicate ourselves to researching the food recordings and finding different audiences for them

Key points

New audiences for oral history interviews:

  • Presentations to the Representing Food Research Conference 2015 and the Oxford Food Symposium 2015

  • Working closely with producers at BBC Radio 4 to create an entire episode of the Food Programme

  • Writing about Food: From Source to Salespoint for Financial Times Weekend – ‘Poultry’s Progress’, 22 May 2015; and Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies, 2015, vol. 15 no. 3 pp. 53 - 59: 'Archives, Academy and Access: Food Producer Life Stories'

Food writers and academics Polly Russell and Barley Blyton reflect on their year as the 2015 inaugural Goodison Fellows. The jointly-held Fellowship was entitled ‘Food Matters’ and focused on the over 300 Food: From Source to Salespoint interviews, many of which are now available online.

Being awarded the Goodison Fellowship allowed us to dedicate ourselves to researching the food recordings and to finding different audiences for them. To this end we gave talks to food writers and food studies scholars, provided BBC Radio 4 and the World Service with NLS clips for food-focused features and wrote about Food: From Source to Salespoint for a scholarly food journal and for the Financial Times Saturday magazine. We also spent a significant amount of time drafting a Food Stories book proposal and working closely with producers at Radio 4 to create an entire episode of the Food Programme  celebrating NLS food recordings entitled An Archive for Food’, broadcast in June 2016.

For further reflections on the ‘Food Matters’ Goodison Fellowship see the 2015-2016 National Life Stories Review and Accounts, p19-21.

Oral History case studies

…To create an archive which will be part of the Library is really a privilege…

Dvora is a collaborative PhD student exploring the social world of Crown Court clerks from the 1970s onwards.

…I ranged at will through more than fifty interviews – still just a fraction of the total…

Michael Bird explored the Artists' Lives collection to produce an exhibition and a forthcoming book

…The Fellowship allowed us to dedicate ourselves to researching the food recordings and finding different audiences for them…

Polly Russell and Barley Blyton are food writers and academics. They were 2015 Goodison Fellows at National Life Stories where they focused on the 'Food: From Source to Salespoint' oral history interviews.

Oral history projects

National Life Stories Goodison Fellowship

This award of £5,000 allows the Goodison Fellow a period of sustained engagement with the oral history collections in order to share the results in public domain.

National Life Stories: Artists' Lives

Artists’ lives and work in their own words

National Life Stories: Architects' Lives

Documenting the life and work of British architects and their associates

National Life Stories: Authors' Lives

In-depth interviews with leading authors working in Britain today

All projects