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Culture - Online oral archive goes live

More than 15,000 recordings from Scotland's past went "live" last week with the launch of an online oral archive dating back more than eight decades.

They are drawn from the archives of the Edinburgh University-based School of Scottish Studies, the BBC and the National Trust for Scotland's Canna Collection.

Over the past five years, staff from the project Tobar an DualchairKist o Riches have digitised and catalogued material from Shetland to the Borders and Aberdeen to the Western Isles.

Musician Donnie Munro, who chaired the project, said the new website would open up Scotland's past as never before: "This is the most ambitious cultural digital heritage project anywhere in Europe, if not the world. A visit to the website will be like talking to those who walked, talked, lived and worked decades ago. You will hear the real voices of mill workers, fishermen, crofters, Travellers and farm workers talking in their own language, be that Gaelic, Doric, Scots or the rich dialect of the Northern Isles."

The website features renowned Scots and Gaelic singers and musicians, including Jeannie Robertson, Willie Scott, Lucy Stewart, Flora MacNeil and Joan MacKenzie, as well as performers Barbara Dickson, Dick Gaughan, Archie Fisher and Norman Maclean.

Tobar an DualchaisKist o Riches cost pound;3 million, with almost half of that provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

www.tobarandualchais.co.uk.

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