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Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards 

Søren Kierkegaard

WISEArchive believes that older people have made an important contribution to society in the course of their working lives and are a valuable source of knowledge and experience which should be recorded and preserved for future generations.

The second half of the twentieth century was a period of increasingly rapid change in the workplace. Employees and management had to adapt as new skills and ideas, new technologies, new health and safety legislation and much more were implemented. Unions became stronger and some established working practices and jobs became obsolete.

This archive aims to preserve stories of working lives mainly in Norfolk using transcribed recordings. Soundclips have been included for stories recorded since April 2016. The archive is constantly expanding with all work carried out by volunteers.

If you have worked in Norfolk and would like to record your recollections for future generations we would be delighted to hear from you. We record both individual stories and stories for specific projects.

Browse our extensive archive to learn more about this rich history or search for specific occupations as you choose. For our latest activities look at our News page.

PROJECTS 2018
Living and Working in the MarshesWe are participating in the Water, Mills & Marshes project coordinated by the Broads Landscape Partnership Scheme. We are looking for contributors who have worked in or around the marshes in Norfolk, including the Broads and rivers. Also contributors who grew up in and around the marshes.


Ponds Shoes, NorwichWe are looking for former employees to tell their story. This is a prestigious former shoe shop and shoe making company with a long history in Norwich.
Sugar Beet in NorfolkWe are looking for contributors who have either worked in or been associated with this important industry, particularly in the Cantley area.
More about our projects