People’s History – Writing Lives

People’s History

Please get in touch via the “Contact Us” section or leave a comment below to tell us about other resources and sites we can list here!

Website on Adam Williams, b. 1877-1911 ‘author, linguist, soldier, hammerman, builder, artist, naturalist, scholar, folk song collector, poet, historian, philosopher and more’, including his autobiographical Life in a Railway Factory, poems, and folk songs he collected.

Oral history, accent and dialect, songs and popular music, and more!

Great resource for researching the people who joined the Chartist movement – the first national working-class movement for political reform – and other early Victorian social campaigns.

Search across a number of large-scale databases, currently mainly London-based.

Museum of children’s home founded in 1741 by Thomas Coram for the ‘education and maintenance of exposed and deserted young children.’

Memories of growing up in the Foundling Hospital between 1912-54.

Great resource for working-class voices – free, searchable digital archive of English traditional folk music and dance tunes

Social history and oral history projects relating to peace and war, frontline and homefront, and military lives

Timeline on the history of mixed-race families in Britain.

Photography, film, TV, web etc.


Origins and history of the co-operative movement

Search for a trade union activist

In process of transferring to LSE

Print and online archive; see links page for links to archives of cooperative movement, trades unions etc.

A fabulous resource for finding out about places and the people who lived there – historical maps, census findings, social composition etc.

A great source for studying lives of the very poor in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

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