"Woman’s Hour: telling history, being history, making history…"

Authors: Murphy, K.

Conference: Whose History is it Anyway?: Public History in Perspective

Dates: 5-6 September 2013


Woman’s Hour, Radio Four’s flagship magazine programme, has been on air since 1946. During this time it has responded to, and reflected upon, momentous change in women’s lives. Not only has the programme documented key historical events from the Royal Commission on Equal Pay to the Synod vote on women bishops, it has often made history with its revelatory interviews, in recent years with the likes of Monica Lewinsky and Sharon Shoesmith. In addition, the programme has always promoted women’s history, drawing on anniversaries, exhibitions, listener experiences, biographies and cultural events whether about ancient Greek goddesses, an eighteenth century female playwright or women welders of the Second World War. As a former Senior Producer and historian of Woman’s Hour, this paper will draw on my knowledge of the programme both in the present and the past. How have decisions been made about what history to include and how this should be framed? How has Woman’s Hour approached its own archive and how has this informed the programme? What historical treasures can be found within the programme documentation and recordings that have been saved for posterity and how accessible are these to the general public?

Source: Manual

Preferred by: Kate Murphy