The Scotland's Sounds network aims to improve the care of and the access to Scotland's heritage recorded sounds.
Since 2009, the National Library has been coordinating the development of the network, with sound-related projects increasing year on year.
Individuals and organisations holding sound recordings in or about Scotland are now working together as part of the network. Visit the Scotland's Sounds website.
Shared responsibility and vision
The Scotland's Sounds stakeholder network looks to strengthen ties between organisations caring for sound collections and share responsibility for their sustainable access for the benefit of the public. It also aims to proactively increase engagement with Scotland's sound heritage.
Our vision is:
'To engage a network of organisations and individuals who have a shared interest in preserving and protecting Scotland’s audio heritage. Together we will share knowledge about sound archives and aim to raise the profile of our rich and varied sound collections held across the communities of Scotland.'
Key principles and priorities
Between 2020 and 2025, we will focus on the following key principles and priorities to achieve our vision:
Principle 1: Sound recordings are invaluable and fragile. They need to be preserved and protected.
Principle 2: Sound is an engaging format. We must make our sounds accessible and available as widely as possible.
Principle 3: Our communities and collections will benefit by collaborating across a distributed collection network.
We will focus on the following priorities:
Read more in the principles and priorities (PDF) (1 MB; 8 pages).
Since the network's initial development, the Library has been involved in a number of sound-related projects both UK and Scotland-wide. Current projects include the following:
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 Heritage Lottery Fund and managed by the British Library. The National Library of Scotland is the project hub for Scotland, working with 16 different collection partners, to bring in sound collections from their archives for digitisation and sharing.
Recordings will be captured in a high quality digital format to preserve the voices, stories and sounds which have played a part in the history of Scotland. These recordings can then be made available for the wider community to listen to and engage with, to help provide an enriched understanding of the past.
Points of focus of UOSH include: digitisation, cataloguing, content research, rights clearance, web access, learning & public engagement and expanding capacity.
The main project aims are as follows:
- To transform access to and preserve the UK's most vulnerable and at-risk audio heritage
- To raise awareness of the importance and value of the nation's sound heritage
- To create sustainable centres of excellence in digital audio preservation around the UK
- To involve new audiences in engaging with their audio heritage in innovative ways
It is hoped that the project will reveal whole or parts of Scottish collections which may otherwise have remained hidden.
The UOSH project team at the Library includes: Jeni Park, Hub Project Manager, Rob Smith, Cataloguing Coordinator and Conor Walker, Audio Preservation Engineer, and Melissa Reeve-Rawlings, Sound Hubs Right Officer. Many volunteers are also helping to deliver the project.
Unlocking Our Sound Heritage announces first Artist in Residence
The UOSH project has recently engaged its first artist in residence, Val O'Regan from the Birdhouse Studio in Argyll. Val will be working with Innellan Primary School and Benmore Botanic Gardens, to create new artist works inspired by the recordings from the Scottish Ornithologists Club.
You can follow this on Val's Instagram page
Connecting Scotland's sounds
Connecting Scotland's Sounds was an initiative championing Scotland's heritage sound recordings with support from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
It was based at the National Library of Scotland and worked in partnership with many archive sound collections across Scotland.
From summer 2016 to late 2017, the project delivered a knowledge exchange programme for people looking after sound collections and a range of engagement activities connecting audiences with archive recordings.
Take a look at the project film:
Visit the Scotland's Sounds website to browse the short project report. Via the 'listen online' option you can also access new podcasts, radio programmes, animations and films created through the project which feature clips from some of Scotland's fascinating archive sound recordings.
Meet the team
- Sound Collections Curator, Alistair Bell
- Scotland's Sound Coordinator, Angie Cook
Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project team:
- Hub Project Manager, Jeni Park
- Cataloguing Coordinator, Rob Smith
- Audio Preservation Engineer, Conor Walker
- Sound Hub Rights Officer, Melissa Reeve-Rawlings.
To contact the team, please email ScotlandsSounds@nls.uk.
If you are interested in the work of the Scotland's Sounds network, there are several ways to find out more and contribute.
Attend stakeholder meetings
Stakeholders in Scotland's Sounds meet three times a year as part of an open forum. Each meeting held is at a different location across Scotland enabling us to meet with a wider audience, giving us a bigger impact.
Contribute to our newsletter
We are always interested in news and discoveries from our Sound network and we would love to share these with others in our network. If you have any news you wish to share please contact us by emailing ScotlandsSounds@nls.uk.
Follow us on social media
You can follow us on Twitter @ScotlandsSounds for regular updates.
Join our mailing list
If you are interested in attending a Stakeholder meeting, receiving our newsletter or just want to keep up to date with what we are up to then you can join the mailing list, please contact ScotlandsSounds@nls.uk.