Our collection of interviews with architects and horticulturalists charts the history of architectural practice in 20th-century Britain.
About the collection
We have in-depth inverviews with many professionals involved in the design of the built environment, landscape design and gardening. The recordings include prominent architects and horticulturalists.
Major national projects and surveys and oral histories of heritage organisations and visual arts and crafts also contain many life story interviews related to architecture, planning and horticulture.
What is available online?
- Architecture interviews from the ongoing National Life Stories project, Architects' Lives, are available online. Prominent interviewees include Sir Hugh Casson, Ralph Erskine, Sir Denys Lasdun, Mary Lutyens, Sir Philip Powell, and the architects of the British Library Colin St. John Wilson and M. J. Long.
- Miriam Rothschild's interview from Down to Earth: An Oral History of British Horticulture is presented online within the context of British science.
What is available in our Reading Rooms?
- The Twentieth Century Society recordings of architects' reminiscences include those of Lord Esher (Lionel Brett) who worked on new towns; Edward Mills, known for his eclectic work in the 1930s; David Medd of the Hertfordshire Schools; Ralph Tubbs of the MARS Group and Festival of Britain; and David Brady.
- Ove Arup Interviews and the Andrew Saint Architecture recordings provide insights into architectural practice in the 20th century. Interviews with the architects Hugh Casson and Peter Moro are included in the National Life Stories project Leaders of National Life.
- Down to Earth: An Oral History of British Horticulture documents the life stories of British gardeners, seed growers and many other occupations relating to horticulture. It charts the changes that occurred in gardens, gardening and landscape design in the 20th century. Interviewees include Christopher Lloyd, Beth Chatto, Sir Tim Smit and Richard Mabey.
- National Sound Archive General collection includes interviews with Valerie Finnis and Nancy Tennant.
- National Trust Sound Archive collection includes interviews with gardeners and landscape designers connected to the Trust’s properties across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
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