Centre for Rural Economy

Staff Profile

Sue Bradley

Research Associate in Oral History


Sue Bradley is an experienced qualitative researcher and oral historian. She is based in the Centre for Rural Economy within the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, where she is currently responsible for the oral history strand of FIELD: Farm-level Interdisciplinary Approaches to Endemic Livestock Disease, a four-year project funded by the Wellcome Trust: https://field-wt.co.uk/


She has worked on major projects in the environmental, agricultural and cultural sectors and pioneered methods of using oral histories in sound and text to inform debates about present concerns. Her research includes human-animal relationships, animal, veterinary and sensory histories, oral history methodologies and working with archived oral histories. She is interested in how spoken accounts can communicate knowledge and yield insights into the experiences of human and non-human animals.


Sue is affiliated as a founder member to Newcastle University’s Oral History Unit and Collective: https://blogs.ncl.ac.uk/oral-history/; https://research.ncl.ac.uk/oralhistory/aboutus/

Recent blog posts include

'Sunshine in the Elizabeth Roberts Working-Class Archive' (site: The Oral Historian)


'Rosemary Goad' (site: British Library Sound and Vision blog) 


'Animals in Store' (site: The Lug) 




Previous work includes

·        2017-18 Working with Animals: health implications for vets and farmers since 1945. A research strand contributing to the large-scale 'One Medicine: Investigating human and animal disease' led by Professor Abigail Woods.

·        2016-18 Veterinary Voices of Experience, an ESRC-funded pilot study of how personal testimony can be used to generate dialogue and reflective learning (in partnership with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and Dr Andrew Gardiner of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies at Edinburgh University).

·        2010 – PI on Veterinary Lives in Practice, an oral history collaboration between the Centre for Rural Economy, RCVS Knowledge at the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and the British Library (funded by Newcastle University, RCVS Knowledge and the Wellcome Trust). 

·        2014-16 A History of Women in the British Film and Television Industries (an AHRC-funded study led by Melanie Bell and Vicky Ball).

·        2013-14 Unlocking Rural Innovation in the North East of England: The Role of Knowledge Institutions (led by Dr Carmen Hubbard).

·        2012-13 Understanding Honeybee Health Stakeholders (A Defra-commissioned study led by Dr Karen Scott and Professor Mark Reed).

·        2011-12 The Hidden Work of Beekeepers (a comparative study of beekeeping in North East England and Orkney, led by Dr Karen Scott).

·        2010-11 Engagement Co-ordinator of Northern Rural Network, a knowledge transfer network of rural development practitioners, local authorities, public agencies, the voluntary sector, and academic researchers. Barrow in Furness.

·        2007-10 Knowledge Controversies in Environmental Science. A 3-year Rural Economy and Land Use (RELU) project where a team of social and natural scientists worked with communities to explore contested methods of managing flood risk (led by Professors Neil Ward, Sarah Whatmore and Stuart Lane).

·        1998-2007 National Life Stories (British Library Sound Archive): interviewer/researcher responsible for Book Trade Lives, an oral history archive of publishing and bookselling in Britain since the 1920s.


Memory, narrative and subjectivity, and in particular: how oral history can be employed to generate further dialogue (e.g. in teaching and collaborative research) and to convey tacit knowledge, hands-on expertise and sensory experience; the impact of the voice in oral history.


  • Bradley S. Hobday's hands: recollections of touch in veterinary oral histories. Oral History 2021, 49(1), 35-48.
  • Bradley S. A Listening Practice: Using oral history audio sources for reflective learning and deliberative decision-making. 2016. In Preparation.
  • Bradley S. Voices bringing history to life. Veterinary Record 2013, 172(14), 357-359.
  • Scott K, Reed MS, Bradley S, Bryce R, Curzon R. Understanding Honey Bee Health Stakeholders; Report for Defra: PH051. 2013.
  • Bradley S. (Series co-ordinator) Veterinary Social Science series: Liddon, A., Bradley, S. & Lowe, P. (2011) Securing the veterinary role in society. Veterinary Record 169, 302-303. Enticott, G., Lowe, P. & Wilkinson, K. (2011). Neoliberal reform of the veterinary profession. VeterinaryRecord 169, 327-329. Gardiner, A., Lowe, P. & Armstrong, J. (2011) Who or what is a veterinary specialist? Veterinary Record 169, 354-356. Clarke, K. & Jones, C. (2011) Taking up the public health challenge. Veterinary Record 169, 384-385. Proctor, A., Lowe, P., Phillipson, J. & Donaldson, A. (2011) Veterinary field expertise. Veterinary Record 169, 408-410. 2011.
  • Landström C, Whatmore S, Lane S, Odoni N, Ward N, Bradley S. Co-producing flood risk knowledge: redistributing expertise in participatory modeling, Environment and Planning A, vol. 43, pp. 1617-33. 2011.
  • Lane S, Odoni N, Whatmore S, Landström C, Ward N, Bradley S. Doing flood risk science differently: an experiment in radical scientific method, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, vol. 36, pp. 15-36. 2011.
  • Liddon A, Bradley S, Lowe P. Securing the Veterinary Role in Society, Veterinary Record, vol. 169, pp. 302-303. 2011.
  • Donaldson A, Ward N, Bradley S. Mess Among Disciplines: Interdisciplinarity in environmental research. Environment and Planning A 2010, 42(7), 1521-1536.
  • Whatmore S, Landstrom C, Bradley S. Democratising Science, Science and Public Affairs,British Association for the Advancement of Science, June: 17. 2008.
  • Stassart P, Bradley S, Donaldson A. Running an interdisciplinary competency group. Newcastle upon Tyne: Centre for Rural Economy, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, 2008. Centre for Rural Economy Discussion Paper Series 19.
  • Bradley S, ed. The British Book Trade: An Oral History, London: British Library. 2008.
  • Bradley S. Tony Pocock (obituary), The Independent, 26 March 2003. 2003.
  • Bradley S, Perks R. Book Trade Lives (CD of edited audio interviews), London: British Library Sound Archive, 2002. 2002.
  • Bradley S. Reginald Last (obituary), The Independent, 22 June 2002. 2002.
  • Bradley S. This Wonderful Life, The Bookseller, 19 April 2002. 2002.
  • Bradley S. Avoir écrire sa vie, gène-t-il pour en parler? (translated by Lejeune, P.) La Faute au Rousseau, no. 25, October 2000. 2000.
  • Bradley S, ed. Tell me the Day, Exeter, Artshare, 1996. 1996.
  • Bradley S, ed. Telling Moments, Yeovil, South Somerset District Council, 1995. 1995.
  • Bradley S, ed. The Lost Resort: Bournemouth in Wartime, Dorchester, Dorset Libraries, 1995. 1995.
  • Bradley S, ed. Archives biographiques françaises, London, Bowker-Saur, 12 parts, 1988-91. 1991.