Oral History

Voices from Inside Glenside

Glenside Hospital Museum is collecting audio recordings of people who lived, worked and visited Glenside Hospital. We have over 50 oral histories from patients, staff and visitors providing an additional insight and richness to our collection of photographs and artefacts. The voices describe life in the Mental Hospital when it was already 100 years old.

While the written records hold the facts, numbers of patients, possible treatments, even the reasons why there was a large mental hospital on the outskirts of Bristol, oral history can give you an insight into what it felt like to walk the corridors, to live and work in a large institution like Glenside.

Oral History combines storytelling, with social history. The recordings hold fascinating detail. They provide a starting point from which you begin to ask questions:

 ‘Is that true?’, ‘Why exactly was that?’, and opens the door to, ‘I’d like to know more.’


The voices describe Glenside when it is already 100 years old

A series of short extracts are to take you on a journey looking at how life was organised listening to many different voices, from the late 1950’s to when the hospital shut in 1994. (1-10) (Created by Stella Man)

Then 11 is a longer compilation of sound talking with staff about Glenside Hospital by Mary Ingoldby

  1. You just wander that’s why you need caring for‘  (https://soundcloud.com/glensidemuseum/you-just-wander-that-why-you)
  2. ‘The treatment of mental health is more of an art than a science’ (https://soundcloud.com/glensidemuseum/the-treatment-of-mental-health)
  3. ‘Debate about institutionalisation and community care in mental health’ (https://soundcloud.com/glensidemuseum/debate-about)
  4. ‘Having your own things in hospital?’ Part 1 (https://soundcloud.com/glensidemuseum/lockers-to-clothes)
  5. ‘Having your own things in hospital?’ Part 2 (https://soundcloud.com/glensidemuseum/lockers-and-possesions)
  6. ‘Having your own things in hospital? Toothbrushes’ Part 3 (https://soundcloud.com/glensidemuseum/toothbrushes-in-pockets)
  7. ‘Wards’ (https://soundcloud.com/glensidemuseum/wards)
  8. ‘People talking about Glenside Hospital in 1950s-90s‘ (https://soundcloud.com/glensidemuseum/hospital-description)
  9. ‘Keys’ (https://soundcloud.com/glensidemuseum/keys-a-0-45min)
  10. ‘Breaking Glass’ (https://soundcloud.com/glensidemuseum/breaking-glass)
  11.  A compilation of staff and patients talking about Glenside Hospital by Mary Ingoldby (https://soundcloud.com/glensidemuseum/glenside-hospital-museum)