Oral History

An important part of the Electric Irish Homes project is the oral history interviews, run jointly with the project partners, the National Museum of Ireland. They are intergenerational oral history interviews carried out with women who were rural housewives during the rural electrification programme and remember their homes being electrified, as well as electrical demonstrators or women involved with promoting electricity in Irish in this period.

 

The aim is to record the memories of women about rural electrification – how it affected their daily lives, what they thought of the products available and how they were sold, as well as what they were actually like to use. You would be contributing to our understanding of women’s lived experience in Ireland, and providing a record of twentieth century Ireland for future generations. The recordings will be used to inform the research project, particularly the book and exhibition, and at the end of the project they will be archived in the National Museum of Ireland, and copies lodged with the Electricity Supply Board archives and the Digital Repository of Ireland.

 

We are currently looking for groups or individual women who would be interested in being interviewed for the project. For groups of women (e.g. ICA guilds, local history societies), we will train one member (preferably from a younger generation!) to carry out the oral history interviews, and provide them with the equipment and support needed.

 

If you are interested in being interviewed (or interviewing!), please contact Sorcha on 087-2922827, or s.obrien@kingston.ac.uk, or write to her care of the National Museum. If you have any domestic products (e.g. irons, vacuum cleaners, etc.) from the period that you would be willing to loan or donate to the project, please do get in touch!

ESB demonstrator (Courtesy of ESB Archives): Audio recorder and notes: ESB mobile demonstration van (Courtesy of ESB Archives)
ESB demonstrator (Courtesy of ESB Archives): Audio recorder and notes: ESB mobile demonstration van (Courtesy of ESB Archives)