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Digital Archive Of Yorkshire Memories Goes Live
W.R. 'Bill' Mitchell
A new online resource containing the digitised interviews of famous Dalesman and writer WR 'Bill' Mitchell has now gone live thanks to Settle Stories.

When Bill Mitchell joined The Dalesman magazine, his editor told him to put people before things. This he did by recording hundreds of hours of interviews with the men and women of the Yorkshire Dales which formed the basis for his written work. This library of cassette recordings, now being digitised, will enable a new generation not only to read history - but listen to it. It is thought that Bill recorded over 600 cassette tapes of his interviewees - from Dales folk to more famous personalities such as Wainright and James Herriot.

Made possible by a 50,000 Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant, the archive currently holds 17 stories. In time, Settle Stories hopes to make all of Bill's interviews available.

Settle Stories director, Sita Brand said: "Bill has a storyteller's ear for a good yarn and is a master at teasing out the funny, gripping and sometimes tragic stories of everyday Yorkshire life. With our new archive, the stories of John Geldard from Malhamdale, Annie Mason from Wensleydale and 'Big Bill Up t'Steps' - and many more - will live on forever."

Explaining the importance of the HLF support, the head of the HLF in Yorkshire, Fiona Spiers, said: "This is an excellent project for the community of Settle and the Yorkshire Dales. It will make available a significant, but hidden archive of Yorkshire to the public, allowing them to have access to a window on the past and learn from days gone as well as provide training and skills in research and archiving for local volunteers."

The archive is intended to become a rich treasury of resources for use in schools and colleges.

Visit the archive at http://www.wrmitchellarchive.org.uk/

Digital Archive Of Yorkshire Memories Goes Live, 5th February 2013, 15:26 PM