University’s past is preserved

Lancaster University under construction with the Chaplaincy Centre to the left.
Lancaster University under construction with the Chaplaincy Centre to the left.

Early memories of life at Lancaster University will be captured in a unique collection to be preserved for generations to come.

As a fitting conclusion to its 50th anniversary year, the university is organising an oral history project to capture early first-hand memories of its origins.

Founding members of staff, alumni from the early years and local residents who lived in the Lancaster area in the 1960s are invited to join in the creation of this permanent record, the ‘Lancaster University Origins’ project, coordinated by the university’s honorary archivist, Marion McClintock.

“Most people are always fascinated by origins,” said Marion McClintock. “They like to look back to the beginning. The beginning always informs what comes afterwards.

“Any human activity is always a formative and crucial moment.

“We do not have particularly good records of how people viewed the University in those early days so it would be excellent if we could capture that for the future while those relevant people are available.

“We should like to hear what was it like to be in at the start of the university as a member of staff, as a student, or as a resident of this area watching in surprise as the new development at the south side of the city developed.”

The ‘Origins’ project focuses on personal recollections and views, the roles people performed, what they felt about the University at the time and what they think about it today.

Interviews, to be carried out by a current student, will take about an hour and the content will be transcribed, indexed and put on the university’s website providing both a visual and audio account for future generations.

The intention is to leave the project in an open-ended state so that more interviews can be added later.

If you are interested in taking part in this project, please contact Anne Rothwell in the university press office at a.rothwell@lancaster, in the first instance or call her on 01524 592646 with your name and contact information.