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Launch of ‘Time to Think’ collection in Belfast

The Open University has launched a new collection called ‘Time to Think: Open University journeys in British and Irish prisons during the years of conflict, 1972-2000’. The oral history collection, focuses on the educational journeys of Loyalist and Republican ex-prisoners, Open University staff who tutored in the prisons or were involved in administration of study from the Belfast office, prison education staff, and Open University students who worked in the prisons. It also includes reflective interviews with OU staff and the Time to Think team about gathering interviews and building the archive. A collection of 117 clips from the interviews are available online via The Open University Digital Archive, together with a new exhibition which uses a selection of the clips, together with films and photographs, to tell the story of the OU’s teaching in the prisons and the creation of the collection.

The launch, which took place on 29 May, 2019 at Stranmillis University College in Belfast yesterday – a longstanding tutorial venue for The Open University – was attended by over 100 people who participated in the project and those from various peace and conflict charities, and voluntary and community sector organisations. Staff from the Library, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and OU Ireland also attended.

The launch consisted of opening speeches by Nation Director, John D’Arcy and Professor Ian Fribbance, Executive Dean of Faculty of Arts and Social Science, followed by presentations with clips from the archive by the project team: Dr Jenny Meegan, Ruth Cammies, Dr Philip O’Sullivan, and Gabi Kent.

The collection is available to view on . Any queries about accessing the archive should be directed to

For further information on the project please contact John D’Arcy

For media enquiries:

Contact Christine Murphy

Communications Manager
Tel 028 9053 6219