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All You Need Is Ears


We have had many years' experience of archiving analogue material, working with major collections as well as those collections with only a handful of tapes. We are approved contractors for the British Library Sound Archive sounds.bl.uk/ and have digitised thousands of items for them from many different formats.




Ambleside Oral History Group logo

In 2003 we started working with the Ambleside Oral History Group and transferred all their original analogue interviews onto CD.  You can access their archive at www.aohg.org.uk .  This is a very varied collection of oral history sound recordings with topics covered ranging from lacemaking to mountain rescue, and with many well known people both currently and historically associated with the area and the spectacular scenery of the Lake District, there is plenty to choose from. This project grew to also encompass the Lorton and Derwent Fells Local History Society's tapes which include some very moving interviews about the Foot and Mouth outbreak in 2001.

As part of our work with AOHG, we also provided a masterclass in Ambleside to start them in a new era of recording, using digital recording equipment to replace analogue working. Digital recording has enabled them to be self-sufficient, going from original field recordings all the way to producing locally accessible listening copies and being able to select extracts from recordings to be available on their website.


Somerset Voices

We started a new project in 2005 with the Somerset Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury, a museum run by Somerset County Council.  We digitised their entire analogue oral history collection, "Somerset Voices", and this can now be accessed at www.somersetvoices.org.uk . Not only do the interviews cover the many varied aspects of rural life, some of which are very particular to Somerset, but also some specific topics have been extensively covered.  These include cidermaking, basketmaking and other work with willows, the peat industry and cheesemaking. The Nailsea and District Local History Society contributed tapes of interviews to this collection, about the impact of the Second World War on people in the local villages, and some additional recordings came from the North Curry Society. There are some films/videos relating to life in the county which we have also safeguarded.

There are many smaller projects that we have undertaken, including work for the British Antarctic Survey, the Royal College of Music's Museum of Instruments, the Royal Opera House, the Horniman Museum, University of Southampton, Dean Heritage Centre and Lancaster University's Language of Children project.

For further information about our archiving services, click here.


Sellafield logo  Sellafield Stories title

We were engaged as audio consultants for Cumbria County Council on their "Sellafield Stories" project.  British Nuclear Fuels Ltd put up funding to compile an oral history of the impact of Sellafield on the area.  This includes interviews with people working there, or who have worked there in the past, as well as the farmers whose land the plant was built on, and even local campaigners opposed to the nuclear industry.  The oral archive is housed at the Whitehaven Record Office, and there was also a travelling exhibition, a website with audio clips, a book and a DVD or CD.  The website can be accessed at www.sellafieldstories.org.uk

The aim of the project was to bring to life the human history behind Sellafield, and is one of the biggest pieces of work ever carried out by Cumbria Archive Service.  We helped them choose and source the most appropriate recording equipment, as well as suitable audio editing software which we installed in a computer we designed specially for them.  We ran training days for the interviewers to enable them to achieve the best possible sound, including a thorough grounding in microphone technique and the use of their digital recorders.  We then ran further sessions to teach them best practice in storing their interviews, including ensuring appropriate back up, and tuition in the use of audio editing software.


For further information about our consultancy services, click here.



Telephone: +44 (0)117 924 8815

Fax: +44 (0)117 924 5505

e-mail: info@allyouneedisears.co.uk