The National Heritage Lottery Fund’s Unlocking Our Heritage project aims to protect the UK’s unique and rare sound collections. The British Library and the 10 national hubs will digitize 160,000 audio items, catalog 470,000 recordings, and look at the rights of 100,000 items.
The National Library of Wales will digitise audio collections from Wales, in order to protect and create access to the files. These sound recordings will be used in learning and engagement activities, and will raise the profile of the UK Sound Archives collections. By the end of 2021 more people will be engaged with audio material and a new website will enable listeners to listen and explore a selection of online recordings.
Through the generosity and kindness of the Friends of the National Library of Wales we have received a donation of a listening bench which will enable us to take these digital recordings on a tour of Wales. A selection of audio clips will be played on the bench at different locations over the next few years.
The Reverend Canon Enid Morgan, Chair of the Friends of the National Library of Wales, said:
The Friends are delighted to present this lovely Audio Bench as a gift to the Library. We are proud that over the years we have been able to help the Library in a variety of ways to add and care for its collections and this project which aims to digitize Welsh audio collections in order to protect and create access to them is a key part of our history as Welsh people.
Before the bench begins its journey it can be seen here on the front lawn of the National Library. Clips of interviews and music are played by Dylan Baines, Ectogram, Malcolm Gwyon, Meibion Mwnt, Tecwyn Ifan, Blew and Plethyn. These artists were originally recorded for Radio Cymru sessions, with the majority unheard since the early 80s. “I would like to thank the Friends of the National Library of Wales for supporting this project and for their kind donation. This is a great opportunity to release clips of sound collections from Wales that would otherwise have remained hidden. There will be an opportunity for people to listen and engage with these recordings in their local communities.” Alison Smith, Unlocking Our Sound Heritage Hub Project Manager (UOSH).