Project Description

Unheard Of

National Library of Scotland

An older person in a hat smiles while working in a carpentry workshop UNHEARD OF
Two smiling elderly people, one is holding a microphone, black and white
Two reel-to-reel cassettes with labels indicating they are from an archive, black and white
A Media Education staff member is smiling and holding a microphone while a participant in the foreground listens through headphones, black and white
A cassette tape with labels indicating it is from a regional archive, black and white
Two high school students smile at each other, there are two microphones on stands in front of them and a hand is holding up a large print script, black and white

summary of project

Scotland’s Sounds was an exciting multi-partner initiative that unlocked the rich collections of archived sound recordings which exist across Scotland, making them accessible for people to engage with and enjoy.

We were approached by the National Library of Scotland to run a project in four areas of Scotland, and provide a series of workshops that would enable community engagement with local heritage through archived sound, as part of the Scotland’s Sounds project.

our approach

In our workshops, participants listened to archive sounds and stories, and created new podcasts, mixing old recordings with newly created sound.

We worked in schools, community centres and village halls, and with projects supporting people in many circumstances from homeless shelters to refugee projects. In every case the stories of the past provoked and inspired new debates, discussions and recordings.

Participants explored subjects as broad as the meaning of home; superstition and the supernatural; the state of our welfare system; what it means to belong to a community; women’s rights and whether change and progress is always for the best.

The wealth of podcasts created during the project were distributed and played on community radio stations all across Scotland.

“The Media Education team’s approach to this complex project was impressive. They worked through a wide set of challenges to shape a cohesive project journey, and communicated well with us throughout.

The project involved a multitude of different skills, from research and curation of archive audio material to building relationships with relevant community and education groups (often from scratch) and from group facilitation to editing podcasts. The team’s positivity and perseverance made Media Education fantastic partners.

We were delighted with the experience they delivered for school pupils and community group members, many of whom got to engage with and respond to heritage sound recordings for the very first time.

Amy McDonald, Connecting Scotland’s Sounds
National Library of Scotland logo, the logo is in both English and Scottish Gaelic
Media Education logo, white

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