Webb, Christopher (2013) Greenhead Stories: People, Place and Sharing Authority Across Cultural Lines. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The Greenhead Stories project sought to bring a range of voices together to discuss the shared space of Greenhead Park, a Victorian park just a short walk beyond Huddersfield’s town centre. Over the course of its history, the park has been the home of many day-to-day leisure activities, as well as serving as a public gathering place for much larger events including silent marches, charity fundraisers, and a number of cultural festivals. In the last few years, local residents have witnessed huge changes to the park after a multi-million pound restoration grant was donated by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Over the course of the restoration, the project aimed to record public memories surrounding the park during a time at which physical evidence of the park’s past was disrupted. In addition to collecting memories of place, the project employed a ‘shared authority’ methodology through a collaborative recording and contextual documentation process. Beyond the content of what was recorded, the Greenhead Stories project set out to explore the possibilities of building a contextual digital archive as a means of addressing some of the dilemmas currently facing oral history theory and practice. Through building partnerships with local organisations and working with the many different communities who share the space, the project aimed to record a broad history of the park, and explore the ways in which the space is a part of both individual and collective memory in Huddersfield. This dissertation, along with the accompanying digital archive and audiowalk, highlights the project’s historical and methodological findings, and in doing so provides solutions to some of the dilemmas and questions facing oral history theory today.

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