Working Lives

About Us

WISEArchive began in 2005. We are an oral history group run entirely by enthusiastic volunteers who record, transcribe and edit working-life stories; audio clips are added for additional enjoyment.

An online archive was established from the start and our first book of collected stories Working in the Health Services 1946-2003, was published in 2014. This was followed by Colman’s of Norwich: Stories of Former Employees 1935-1995 in 2016 and Water, Mills, Marshes, Life and Work on the Broads 1920-2020 – both funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Archive is continually expanding with new stories added on a regular basis. New projects are added to the Projects section on completion.

Older stories on the website are in the process of being edited and audio clips are being added where possible as they demonstrate the energy and enthusiasm with which working-life stories are told and afford opportunities to enjoy the rich Norfolk accent.


New contributions are always welcome from those who wish to preserve the story of their working life. Contact WISEArchive to find out more or choose Tell your story if you wish to submit a written account.  Send relevant photographs with the story if you wish to have them included.


WISEArchive has well established links with the Sound Archive of the Norfolk Record Office which maintains copies of all WISEArchive sound recordings and transcriptions.  It continues to develop cooperation with other groups interested in heritage, including the Broads Authority, Norfolk Museum Service and the Forum Trust.