Unlocking Gaelic sound: Increasing digital footfall in Edinburgh’s archives through novel language technologies

Project Details


The National Library of Scotland (NLS) and the School of Scottish Studies Archives (SSSA) contain thousands of internationally important recordings of Gaelic folklore and broadcast media. The NLS has digitised theirs, but they have yet to be transcribed or curated online. The SSSA has curated thousands of recordings online through the collaborative project, Tobar an Dualchais / Kist o Riches (TaD), whose website is now managed by UoE. Recently, TaD have begun to transcribe these recordings manually. Although transcribing fieldwork recordings is laborious, searchable text augments their value exponentially.

Searchable text is the key to finding proverbial needles in countless haystacks: users can locate key information without listening to each recording. It accelerates research activity and widens access to the recordings – for instance to the hearing-impaired, to Gaelic learners and even to non-Gaelic speakers via Google Translate.

It would take many lifetimes to transcribe these media manually. Fortunately, we are developing technologies to expedite the process. In this project, we will work with our partners to automatically transcribe a broad range of Gaelic-language media. This will increase digital footfall, enhance their cultural and research value, and facilitate their creative distillation (e.g. via fiction and oral storytelling).
Short titleUnlocking Gaelic sound
Effective start/end date20/01/2131/07/21


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