Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The power of audio: presenting archives via podcasts

Wilson, Marianne; Ryan, Bruce; Hall, Hazel; Macgregor, Iain


Hazel Hall


Heritage Organisations and Podcasts Scoping Study (HOPSS) was a small-scale project completed by a team at Edinburgh Napier University in 2022. Designed to scope the research landscape related to podcasting in cultural heritage work (including archives) from the perspective of those who create audio content based on collections, the research addressed three main aims:
(1) To identify the main sources and types of evidence available on the use of podcasts by cultural heritage organisations (e.g. Kell & Gagau, 2020).
(2) To highlight the limits of knowledge in this area.
(3) To pinpoint key research questions on the subject of cultural heritage and podcasts – an area that has been noted as ripe for academic research (Edwards & Hershkowitz, 2021; Rupinski & Rander, 2019).
These aims were met through literature review (Phase 1) followed by analysis of qualitative data collected in interviews with nine podcast content creators who work in cultural heritage organisations (Phase 2).
The main finding from Phase 1 is that although podcast production is undertaken by cultural heritage professionals to promote accessibility, representation and community building, published research on this practice is generally limited to single case studies. The analysis of data from Phase 2 interviews demonstrates that podcast production (1) brings opportunities for collaboration and community-building between cultural heritage practitioners; (2) facilitates engagement with collections, particularly intangible cultural heritage. These findings indicate that podcasts have the potential to be a useful tool to support archive professionals to build, curate, interpret and disseminate collections. On the basis of this work, future research should focus on three main themes: (1) the use of podcasts to enhance representation in, and reuse of, collections; (2) engagement with archives represented in podcasts; (3) impact of podcasting on archives. This will address contemporary engagement with ‘old’ ephemera, and the visibility and accessibility of archives.

Presentation Conference Type Conference Paper (unpublished)
Conference Name Shaking the Archive - Reconsidering the Role of Archives in Contemporary Society
Start Date Jun 23, 2023
End Date Jun 25, 2023
Deposit Date Jul 6, 2023
Related Public URLs