- Repository State Library of South Australia
The JD Somerville Oral History Collection was established in 1987 as the central repository for unpublished oral history tapes and transcripts in South Australia. The collection is intended to provide an oral record of all aspects of the South Australian experience and particularly of those who are poorly represented in documentary records, such as low income earners, people of non-English speaking background, women, and country people. The collection also provides a representative sample of the various uses of oral history, such as academic, commissioned, local history, community arts, school and family history. The foundation collection was a Jubilee 150 project ‘S.A. Speaks’ consisting of interviews with 45 men and women who were broadly representative of South Australia in the first decades of the twentieth century. Since 1987 the community has responded with enthusiasm to the Somerville Collection and the Library receives more than 300 hours of recordings each year from practitioners including genealogists, local history groups, post-graduate students and professional historians.