Platform to platform: an investigation into audience engagement with digitised archives and its transformative impact across different online formats
  This project is closely tied to two goals of the call: unlocking value from digitised heritage content, and online performance.

In respect of ‘unlocking value from digitised heritage’, the practical aspect of the research will focus on taking an archive of digitised text authored by one-time Stirling resident Lorna Lloyd about her first hand experiences of living through the early months of World War II, then adding value to it by transforming it into a sound archive. The sound files will be edited as a narrative non-fiction podcast series by Sound Design students at Edinburgh Napier University for the third year Group Project module in trimester 2 2021/22. They will work under the supervision of Sound Design lecturer Dr Iain McGregor, with input from award-winning BBC podcasters.

One of the outputs of the project will be an artefact that fits with Creative Informatics’ goal of ‘online performance’, i.e. a set of podcast episodes narrated by an actor (Lloyd’s great great niece). We will also include some contemporary news coverage in the podcast to complement Lloyd’s commentary on the war time episodes that she lived through. This content will be accessed through our contacts at the BBC Sound Archive at the British Library.

We will create additional online material to help illuminate the episodes in the podcast series. These will include an online map of places mentioned in the podcast episodes, art work by Lloyd, and links to other relevant material (e.g. contemporary newspaper reports), and educational resources.

The research-focused element of the project will be designed to investigate how data-driven innovation can (a) unlock hidden value in archives, and (b) support the development of new modalities of experience for the creative industries. We will achieve this through an evaluation of audience engagement with the new sound archive, and the impact of this engagement. We are particularly interested in exploring the views of podcast subscribers already familiar with the work of Lloyd: it is anticipated that many of the dozens who subscribed to the online journal set up in Lloyd’s name on the Edinburgh-founded Blipfoto web site in August 2019 will be keen to experience Lloyd’s war time testimony in audio format.

To maintain the link with this core audience, we will set up a new Blipfoto journal. Here we will document the work of the project team members as they bring Lloyd’s work to life again through the production of the podcast. A Blipfoto member will also serve on the project advisory board.

As well offering a unique career development opportunity for the Sound Design students, we are also interested in their response to the content of the recordings, and particularly the extent to which handling Lloyd’s war time chronicles encourage them to consider their own relationships with history. We will explore this and related questions with the students in focus groups after they complete their practical work on the project.

  • Start Date:

    2 February 2022

  • End Date:

    31 July 2022

  • Activity Type:

    Externally Funded Research

  • Funder:

    Arts & Humanities Research Council

  • Value:


Project Team