Rob Perks

Rob Perks
Lead Curator, Oral History & Director of National Life Stories
Oral history
Related Offices
Secretary and Trustee of the Oral History Society; Director, Trustee and Company Secretary of National Life Stories; Visiting Professor in Oral History at the University of Huddersfield; an Editor of Oral History: The Journal of the Oral History Society; Series Editor of the Oxford University Press Oral History Series; an advisor to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Centre for Life History Research at the University of Sussex, the Australian Generations national oral history project (Monash University Melbourne), and the Canadian Oral History Centre at the University of Winnipeg. In 2007 he was awarded an honorary DLitt by the University of Huddersfield in recognition of his work in the field.
Published date:

Dr Rob Perks leads the oral history team at the BL and his interests include: oral history, memory and narrative: its development, interpretation and presentation in Britain and around the world; oral history and audio-visual archives: issues of collection, documentation, description, access and presentation; the development of UK local and community history, and representations of personal testimonies in public history contexts; the retrieval of 'hidden' and marginalised histories through oral history methodology; and corporate and business oral history.



  • 'Curation or Creation? Archivists and Oral History. Rob Perks in conversation with Andrew Flinn', Oral History, vol.41 no.1 (Spring 2013), pp.113-119
  • 'The nation in conversation', Viewfinder, no. 88 (Autumn 2012), pp. 6-7
  • 'Oral history: a political act? Rob Perks in conversation with Mary Stewart', Testimonios: Revista de la Asociacion de Historia Oral de la Republica Argentina (Argentina, 2011)
  • '‘Messiah with a microphone?’: oral historians, technology and sound archives' in The Oxford Handbook of Oral History, ed. by Donald A Ritchie (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011), chapter 22
  • 'The roots of oral history: exploring contrasting attitudes to elite, corporate, and business oral history in Britain and the US', Oral History Review, vol. 37 no. 2 Summer/Fall 2010, pp. 215-224
  • '‘Corporations are people too!’: business and corporate oral history in Britain', Oral History, vol. 38 no. 1 (Spring 2010), pp. 36-54
  • 'George Ewart Evans and his legacy to oral history', National Life Stories Review 2009-2010 (NLS, 2010), pp. 12-13
  • 'The challenges of web access to archival oral history in Britain', International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives Journal, no.32 (January 2009), pp. 74-82


  • The Oral History Reader, Routledge, third edition 2015, second edition 2006, first edition 1998 (with Al Thomson)
  • Oral History, Health and Welfare, Routledge, 2000 (with Joanna Bornat, Paul Thompson and Jan Walmsley)
  • Ukraine’s Forbidden History, Dewi Lewis Publishing, 1998, (with Graham Smith and Tim Smith)

Audio and electronic publications

See also

Collection guides

Oral history

One of the largest collections of oral history and life story interviews in the world