The Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project wants to make people working in heritage organisations feel more confident when caring for and providing access to the audio in their collections. Ideally we’d like everybody working in a gallery, library, archive or museum in the North West to know what the first steps are once you’ve plucked up the courage to open that box of tapes.

We also want to raise the profile of audio heritage more widely among the public so that more people know what they could do with those long lost tapes in the attic. Our team is currently creating a suite of training materials to be shared in Autumn 2020.

Training materials produced so far:

A zine guide for how to digitise audio cassettes:

Test your audio format knowledge:

Test your digitisation quality control skills:

Blogs describing some sound heritage processes:

Preparing the Manchester Studies oral history collection for digitisation

Transforming sound archives into a film presentation for our LGBTQ+ Mixtape event

Transferring the Tameside Oral History Project: Here To Stay minidiscs

Advice during lockdown on oral history in the home

Further resources:

Two free Open University courses including interactive modules on early revolutions in sound recording:

Recording Music and Sound

Revolutions in Recording Music and Sound

From the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA):

The Safeguarding of the Audiovisual Heritage: Ethics, Principles and Preservation Strategy


Guidelines on the Production and Preservation of Digital Audio Objects


Handling and Storage of Audio and Video Carriers


IASA-TC 06 Guidelines for the Preservation of Video Recordings

Ethical Principles for Sound and Audiovisual Archives