Tell your story with Untold Hull

Published: Friday 13th October 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Untold Hull is an oral history project that collects and curates the stories of the people of Hull.

Funded by The James Reckitt Library Trust, the fascinating project aims to create a digital archive that will preserve the tales, memories and voices of people connected to the city.

We spoke with Dan Dearing, Project Assistant for Untold Hull, to discover more about this inspiring venture.

“Stories can be told by anyone, from someone who is 85 and has lived in Hull all of their lives, to someone who has visited the city for two weeks,” explains Dan.

The social history archive will cover all eras and an array topics. No story is too big or too small to tell. It could be about certain days or events that have impacted the city, memories of growing up in Hull, or simple, everyday things like going to work or going out.

“I think it is so important to record people’s experiences in their own words. There is something really magical about hearing it first-hand that you don’t get from a textbook. You get to hear the accent and the specific phrases that they use.”

The unique online platform that will host these intriguing narratives will be launched in the next few months. Users of the Hull Library Service archives will also be able to access the recordings when searching for books and other materials on certain topics.

“We have gathered over 300 hours of audio and video recordings. The Untold team has worked with 140 people, but we have had other volunteers recording a similar number of people too,” Dan tells us.

The dedicated researchers are already looking forward to seeing how the unusual resource will be accessed.

“We’re really hoping that this special collection will be used in years to come by artists and researchers. We have been careful to collect and curate the stories in a way that is accessible. Digital media is great and it’s so easy nowadays to record a moment, but storing it long-term in a meaningful way is quite a difficult task,” Dan points out. “We’re a small team. There’s me, Jessica Leathley, the Project Manager, and two creative apprentices. It’s been quite a challenging project.”

Untold Hull is still looking for people to interview, so if you’ve got something to say, get in touch with them via email at, or give them a call on 01482 614286.

“We’ll record anyone who is willing to share their experiences,” Dan maintains.

Snippets and entertaining anecdotes of the current recordings can be also found on the Untold Hull website. They give a real flavour of how the final project will sound once it’s complete.

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Published: Friday 13th October 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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