The Dúchas oral history project was set up by Falls Community Council in 1999 to record the experience of the conflict. Falls Community Council envisaged the Dúchas archive as a tool for learning and for conflict resolution as well as leaving a legacy to the future.
The initial focus of the archive was on the community of nationalist West Belfast but from an early stage there were efforts to also collect experiences from people in other communities situated differently in relation to the conflict. Over the last number of years of the peace process there began to be more opportunities for working in partnership with other community groups in Belfast. A model was developed for working in partnership and gathering interviews. This involved training oral history interviewers but also crucially creating spaces for discussion and conversation about shared and contested history. In 2012 with the help of EU Peace 3 funding the Pieces of the Past project was developed. This brought together 7 organisations from across Belfast to do oral history and conflict resolution work. Each organisation now has its own collection within the Dúchas archive. Over 250 interviews have now been recorded for the archive. Although we are still gathering new interviews, the focus of our work is now on developing public access to the Dúchas archive and the rich history it contains.