Catalogue description Lectures and student work: general

This record is held by Birmingham: Archives, Heritage and Photography Service

Details of MS 4000/5/2/7
Reference: MS 4000/5/2/7
Title: Lectures and student work: general
Held by: Birmingham: Archives, Heritage and Photography Service, not available at The National Archives
Language: English
Administrative / biographical background:

Charles Parker worked as a freelance lecturer in the 1960s and 1970s. His lecturing work and project work with students is of enormous significance and national importance. Charles Parker used 'actuality' recordings (voices and songs of ordinary people) to illustrate his belief that vernacular speech is the key to communication and that people, and particularly those in education, needed to learn from this in order to communicate effectively in the future. Another central theme of his lecturing was his belief that capitalist industrial society was in danger of losing touch with its historical and social traditions which are essential for establishing and maintaining a social identity.


The recordings in this series mainly comprise examples of the 'actuality' used by Charles Parker in some of his lectures rather than recordings of the lectures themselves. There are however some recordings of discussions between Charles Parker and students/teachers he was working with. For example see the recordings of a Sixth Form Conference on Popular Culture at Faversham [Girls School] in 1965 at MS 4000/5/2/7/8; recordings of a Conference for Teachers in Primary and Secondary Schools at Jordanhill College of Education, Glasgow in 1967 at MS 4000/5/2/7/12-13 and recordings at Poulton le Fylde College of Education, Lancashire in 1971 at MS 4000/5/2/7/24.


In addition to the dominant theme of vernacular speech the recordings address other issues which were of enormous importance to Charles Parker and featured in his lecturing work and work with students. These include extracts from 'The Blind Set' a BBC Radio 4 programme produced by Charles Parker on the experience of blindness in 1968 (see MS 4000/5/2/7/6,18); extracts from a modern version of 'Romeo and Juliet' broadcast on BBC Schools in 1966 (MS 4000/5/2/7/6,9); details of political activity, history of resistance and life in South Africa (MS 4000/5/2/7/17); BBC policy (MS 4000/5/2/7/20); and support for the miners' strikes (MS 4000/5/2/7/36-37a).


Many of the recordings are supported by written documentation on the lectures and courses given by Charles Parker at MS 4000/1/3. The reference numbers to the supporting documentation are provided in the individual descriptions. The recordings are arranged in date order from 1959-1978 from MS 4000/5/2/7/1 to MS 4000/5/2/7/40

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