Leeds University

Jane Reas, a volunteer with the W.R. Mitchell Archive, at Leeds University Special Collections in 2012, © Settle Stories.Jane Reas, a volunteer with the W.R. Mitchell Archive, at
Leeds University Special Collections in 2012, © Settle Stories.

In 2001 W.R. Bill Mitchell deposited over one hundred cassette tapes in the University of Leeds Special Collections. The University has a large collection of oral histories as part of The Leeds Archive of Vernacular Culture, a survey of English dialects.

These cassette tapes included interviews which Bill had conducted with Arthur Wainwright and Alf Wight, more commonly known as James Herriot, as well as a collection of interviews with people who had known Beatrix Potter. The collection also included a selection of W.R. Mitchell's printed works and correspondence with Lakeland folk including the sculptress Josephina Banner de Vasconcellos.

The W.R. Mitchell Archive aims to bring the vast collection of W.R. Mitchell's interviews together by digitising these tapes and those of the University of Bradford.

Jane Reas, a Phd. student at the University of Leeds, volunteered to locate the tapes at the University. You can read Jane's entertaining account of  "A Series of Fortunate Events" which resulted in the discovery of the tapes by clicking here.