Museum of London

Collecting memories of London’s young people

From the experiences of the Windrush generation to tales from taxi drivers, the Museum of London’s oral histories help bring the capital to life. But what’s currently missing is first person stories from children and young people. So we’re partnering with the museum on a ground-breaking project to capture the voices of a diverse range of young people with different life experiences – including poverty, disability, racism, being in the care system, or being a recent migrant to London.

Our grant of £80,000 will support the My Story project, which will create video life stories from pupils reflecting the diversity of the schools’ communities. These will be added to the Museum of London’s oral history collection.

  • There are around 1.45 million children in London attending 3,157 schools.
  • The Museum of London’s oral history collection contains over 5,000 hours of life stories, including 21 languages, collected over a period of 20 years, but does not currently contain any recordings collected from children
  • The My Story project will create 30 video life stories, engage at least 2,000 pupils through drama-based assemblies, and offer interactive workshops for 1,200 pupils in their schools and at the museum.

Sharing experiences of being a Londoner

Young people will get involved in workshops on the theme of ‘Being a Londoner’ delivered by artists and poets, as well as museum staff. They’ll also benefit from a bespoke visit to the museum in London’s Docklands, where they’ll focus on themes of identity and experience as they explore the oral history collection.

This is a pilot project for the museum, which will reach at least 2,000 pupils aged 12-13 from state secondary schools in 10 London boroughs. They aim to extend the project to all schools in London by 2025.

“As part of our work to engage every London schoolchild and to enhance their sense of belonging to London, I very much welcome this project. But more significantly, it represents an important step forward for the museum strategically. As we plan for the opening of the new Museum of London in West Smithfield in 2025, we are committed to putting the lives of children and young people, especially those from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds, at the heart of the stories we tell. Giving London’s children a stronger voice in our collection sends a clear message that this is a priority for our organisation.”

Sharon Ament, Director, Museum of London

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