Engagement and outreach

Engaging audiences with archive sound recordings can produce inspiring and meaningful connections with the past.

Connecting Scotland’s Sounds engagement projects

2016 and 2017 saw a range of audience engagement projects with archive sound collections. We hope you find inspiration for your own outreach from some of the activities outlined below.


Finding Our Voices: Exploring Local Songs was a project led by Local Voices. The team ran workshops in 8 schools along Scotland’s east coast, encouraging upper primary pupils to explore sound recording technology and local Scots song. These workshop series culminated in performances for school communities. You can read more in a series of five inspiring blogs.


This project  enabled communities across Scotland to create 11 podcasts in response to archive recordings, which were subsequently broadcast on community radio. Audio clips were contributed by collections held by Timespan in Helmsdale, Glasgow City Archives, Fife Archives and Orkney Library and Archives. The workshops were led by Media Education, and you can find out more in their ‘making of’ film.


A partnership with Scran and Scottish Borders Archives, this project encouraged creative responses to recording of life story interviews held within the Scottish Borders Archives. See some of the creative outputs under the listen online menu option – filmed drama, podcasts, animations and more.


National Trust for Scotland archivist Fiona Mackenzie and musician Yvonne Lyon led workshops with the Isle of Canna community to create new music tracks inspired by archive sound recordings from the Canna Collection. These are shared in the Canna Pier waiting room within 8 films created using archive footage and sounds alongside new tracks composed by musician in residence Yvonne Lyon. Artwork by visual artist Anne McKay also features in the exhibition.

Other engagement projects

These are also on our radar – do send us more if you know of them!

Published guidance

And this is an article about using audiovisual resources in museum displays: The Use of Film, Sound and Oral History in Museum Displays 

Engagement tools

The Sounds like Scotland animated mixtape (2 minutes) is a great way of introducing the concept of audio heritage to audiences.

The Sounds like Scotland radio programme (30 minutes) features a host of interesting short clips and contextual commentary.

Other engagement tools

Here are a couple of video interviews suitable for sharing with audiences about sound preservation and sound archives from BBC Archives:

Is there something we’ve missed? Please let Angie know on scotlandssounds@nls.uk – we’re keen to keep updating this list.