Professor Paul Thompson

Paul Thompson
Founder and Trustee of National Life Stories

Paul Thompson is regarded as one of the pioneers of oral history as a research methodology. In 1969 he founded the journal Oral History, and in 1971 the Oral History Society. Based at Essex University between 1970 and 1973 he carried out a project titled 'Family Life and Work Experience before 1918' which was the first national oral history interview study to be carried out in Britain. The project resulted in a number of publications, including Thompson's The Edwardians: The Remaking of British Society, and The Voice of the Past: Oral History (4th edition, 2018). In 1987 with Lord Asa Briggs he founded the National Life Story Collection (now National Life Stories). Between 1994 and 2001, Paul was Director of ESDS Qualidata at the University of Essex. His other publications include Living the Fishing (1983), I Don't Feel Old (1990), The Myths We Live By (1990), City Lives (with Cathy Courtney) (1996), Pathways to Social Class (1998) and Growing up in Stepfamilies (1998).


National Life Stories

A unique and invaluable record of people’s lives in Britain today

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.

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