Living History is an Eton-run community project to collect conversations and recollections of the history of the school and its surrounding areas. Eton students will meet with local residents, former students and staff to conduct interviews and record their memories.
Oral History is a unique form of history, in the sense that it allows us to remember the lives of those often excluded, or missed by professional historians. It aims is to establish what life was like in the past. Founded in 1440, Eton has a wealth of history in its architecture and its collections, but this project hopes to enrich the oral history of the College, as told by those who have lived and worked in it.
A further aim of the project is to use it to begin conversations within Eton of how the College has changed and how it might continue to improve. This year, in light of Eton’s new vision (Eton 2020) and the seismic changes in awareness of inequality and social justice, there is a particular theme of diversity and inclusion. Therefore, students will search to interview people whose experiences may not fit the stereotypical idea of an Eton boy or beak.
Once our interviews and findings are complete, the goal is to produce a book for the wider Eton community. The hope is that this can better inform the history of Eton, as experience by those who have lived through it.