The Pieces of the Past project records and archive oral histories of the experience of the conflict in Belfast through cross community partnerships and development of the Dúchas oral history archive.

Pieces of the Past is a partnership that grew from a pilot project between the Dúchas archive and Charter NI in 2010 supported by Belfast City Council’s EU Peace 3 programme. When this proved successful the partnership expanded to involve seven organisations working with the Dúchas archive and this work was also supported by the European Union’s Peace 3 programme.

The project set up a steering group composed of representatives of the organisations that make up Pieces of the Past along with the project staff guiding and managing the oral history work. Our initial meetings spent a lot of time testing the ground and building trust before embarking on the interview gathering. We created a mission statement together.

The Pieces of the Past project has combined oral history and conflict resolution work. The project organised oral history training for volunteers to gather interviews from people within their own communities. Each organisation involved in Pieces of the Past now has its own collection within the Dúchas archive. The project also organised public and private discussions about shared and contested history. The work involved in Pieces of the Past has involved hundreds of people at many levels.

Mission statement

Pieces of the Past is an oral history project that records and archives personal experiences of living through the conflict in communities across Belfast.

Shankill Women’s Centre, Epic, ForbairtFeirste, Charter NI, FáilteFeirsteThiar and Belfast Taxis Community Interest Company are working with Falls Community Council’s Dúchas archive to gather oral history interviews and work across divisions.

We believe it is important to collect histories of living through the conflict to affirm the experiences of those most affected, understand each other better and leave a legacy to the future.

Partner names

• Belfast Taxis Community Interest Company
• Charter NI
• Epic
• FáilteFeirsteThiar
• ForbairtFeirste
• Shankill Area Social History
• Shankill Women’s Centre