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Broadcasting Students, 1953 (Royal Conservatoire of Scotland)

Scottish Sound Archive

The development of a distributed national sound archive for Scotland is underway. The National Library of Scotland (NLS) has been working with a broad range of stakeholders, including the Scottish Council on Archives, to plan and develop what a Scottish Sound Archive may look like and what services it might offer. This has culminated in the creation of a Strategic Vision. Click on the cover to download. 

The vision statement at the centre of the document acknowledges the core needs for better care and better access to Scotland’s sound collections. To achieve this aim in tough economic times it requires a collaborative effort. We aim to encourage all keepers of sound collections to take a shared responsibility for Scotland’s audio heritage. This collective group needs to formulate realistic actions to achieve its aims. The vision identifies these actions as increasing the visibility of collections and helping in raising standards. Accordingly, better care and better access can be accomplished from letting the public see what rich collections exist and working with each other to share skills and best practice.

Currently in progress, Phase One will involve the development of a portal to bring together sound collections held in a variety of organisations, including museums, libraries and archives, into a searchable single online resource. Initially the portal will be built and tested using sample data from ten organisations which will be the foundation for further growth in Phase Two and beyond.

A further online resource allowing members of the public to upload sound recordings to the national collection will also be developed. This will address the need to provide sustainable access to creative digital audio for future generations.

These services are set to vastly improve awareness, access and interaction with Scottish sound collections, while stoking necessary professional interaction for the benefit of our audio collections.

Further developments will be posted here and you can learn more by visiting the NLS website or emailing