Unlocking our Sound Heritage

Unlocking our Sound Heritage (UOSH) is a UK-wide project that will help save the nation’s sounds and open them up to everyone. The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and managed by the British Library, with 10 hubs across the UK, The National Library of Scotland is delighted to be the hub for Scotland and the first to be up and running and have already started to digitise and catalogue our first collection.

We have set up a digitisation studio at our site in Kelvin Hall alongside the Library’s Moving Image Archive.  As part of the 3 year project we will be working with 16 different collection partners, to bring in 5,000 sound recordings from their archives for digitisation and sharing.

Jeni Park, Hub Project Manager will lead the project for the National Library of Scotland and manage; Cataloguing Co-ordinator, Rob Smith and Audio Preservation Engineer, Conor Walker and Rights Officer, Mel Reeve-Rawlings.

We will be undertaking an ambitious volunteer programme, working with 75-100 volunteers (in Glasgow and through a remote volunteering programme to other parts of Scotland) to help us achieve our project goals, by helping us to digitise, contextualise and curate the content on the recordings and be our “ears” for the project.

Making collections is often not enough to attract new audiences, so we will also be leading a varied engagement & learning programme including an artist-in-residence programme, resources for schools, and research & curation workshops.

“This is an incredible opportunity to begin revealing whole or parts of Scottish collections that may have otherwise remained hidden. Capturing the recordings we are working with in a high quality digital audio format is our current best means of ensuring we do not lose the voices, stories, or sounds that have played a part in the history of Scotland. It also means that we will be in a better position to let a much wider community listen to and engage with these recordings; to hear about how people used to live (or speak!) in their local communities, and enrich our understanding of the past.”  Jeni Park, Hub Project Manager, UOSH.

You can keep in touch with our progress here, and on Social Media @Scotlandssounds.