‘Unlocking Our Sound Heritage’ (UOSH) is a five-year UK-wide partnership project led by the British Library that will help save the nation’s sounds and open them up to everyone.
Across the country, over 100,000 historical sound recordings are currently under threat, both from physical degradation, and as the means of playing them disappear from production. Professional consensus internationally is that there is approximately 15 years in which to save many of these sound collections through digitisation, before they become unreadable and are effectively lost. Supported by the National Lottery Heritage fund, ‘Unlocking Our Sound Heritage’ seeks to preserve the nation’s sound archives through digitisation, and improve public access to them through online resources and engagement events. Norfolk Record Office is proudly working as one of ten UK wide UOSH hubs and is currently in the process of digitising sound recordings from across the East of England.
Over the next two years we will be sharing updates from the project team and volunteers, including voices from the archives, project updates and advice on caring for your own sound archives through the Norfolk Record Office blog.
For this week’s blog post we introduce you to the UOSH East of England hub project team:
Sam Hodgson, Project Manager:
Born in Norfolk, Sam studied Chemistry at the University of Manchester before becoming a Commercial Manager for HSBC in Lincolnshire. He served for seven years in the Army, commissioned into the Royal Corps of Signals within a variety of roles. These included turning over 200 civilians into trained soldiers as a Platoon Commander, and supporting state ceremonial events alongside the Royal Household, such as the Queen’s Birthday Parades and royal garden parties. Sam continues to serve as an Army Reserve Flight Commander for the 6th Army Air Corps Regiment based in Norwich, providing Attack Helicopter support. Sam is a Parkrun addict, loves Alpine Skiing, and has a Labradoodle named Ralph.
Dr Helen Busby, Cataloguing Manager:
Originally from Essex, Helen completed an undergraduate degree in History at the University of Kent, and an MA in history at Reading University. Helen has a PHD in Early Modern Social History from the University of East Anglia, drawing upon her Essex roots to write her thesis, ‘Customary Law, Memory and Identity in Early Modern Essex 1500-1750’. Helen worked for five years at Suffolk Record Office as a Search-room Assistant and Public Services Manager, during which she completed a postgraduate diploma in Archive Administration at Aberystwyth University. Helen loves Palaeography, knitting socks, and has no sense of direction.
Nicole Hudson, Engagement and Cataloguing Officer:
After completing a BA in Fine Art at Norwich University of the Arts, Nicole worked for three years leading creative engagement workshops for schools, community groups, and the public on behalf of cultural organisations including the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts and the Oriel Davies Gallery. In 2016, Nicole was selected to complete a Community Arts Residency in Finland, where she designed and led creative workshops for unemployed adults. Nicole completed a Teaching Museum Traineeship with Norfolk Museums Service in 2019, having been based for a year within the Curatorial and Collections department at the Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth. Nicole loves art and craft, playing board games, and travelling.
David Pye, Audio Preservation Engineer:
With 18 years of experience working as a record producer and recording engineer, David has worked with a variety of musicians and studios, predominantly under the London based independent record label, Transgressive Records. In 2010, he engineered the album Smother by the English indie rock band, Wild Beasts, which was nominated for a Mercury Prize. In 2018, he recorded for the online tech guide What Hifi’s article ‘10 of 2018’s best albums to test your speakers’. David loves cats, video games, and is a vegetarian.
Alexandra Gordon-Jones, Rights and Cataloguing Officer:
Originally from Suffolk, Alex completed an MA in Geography at the University of Edinburgh. Following an MA in Museology at the University of East Anglia, Alex moved to the Channel Islands, where she worked as an Assistant Curator at Alderney Museum. Alex returned to Edinburgh to work upon the Edinburgh Royal Museums redevelopment project, working within Collections Care for National Museums Scotland. Between 2012 and 2017 Alex worked as a Documentation Officer and Assistant Curator at the Geffrye Museum in London. Alex returned to East Anglia in 2018 where she worked as an Assistant Registrar at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich. Alex enjoys sailing, is a novice dress maker, and has twin girls.
Unlocking Our Sound Heritage is supported by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.