The sound archive reflects the work of museum staff and the work of other groups. Recordings relate to transport, industry, crafts, folklore, language, music and song.
Oral histories are drawn from across the local community.
Today the collection continues to grow. Recordings are made in the museum's studio, and by projects involving non staff or groups.
The museum now video records activity that will be of long term historical value. Some of this material is available to view on our YouTube channel.
In addition to still images the museum has collected moving images in the form of film over the years. This material is currently being digitised to enable researchers to view this historical portal to our past.
In collaboration with Northern Ireland Screen the museum is an access point to the "Digital Film Archive" that provides, via a computer station, 70 hours of digitised moving images about Northern Ireland from 1897-2000.
The Living Linen Collection was an oral history project. It was set up in 1995 to record memories of the linen industry in Northern Ireland.
Between 1999 and 2002, the Heritage Lottery Fund provided a grant. It supported sound recording people involved with linen.
There are over 300 recordings of people who worked in the linen mills. The tapes have been transcribed for ease of access. They can be accessed through our Collections Online section.
BBCNI Community Archive
The BBC Northern Ireland Community Archive holds material broadcast and collected by the BBC from 1924 to the present day. It is a valuable source of information on the life and culture of Ulster. At present the archive holds:
over 8,000 radio programmes;
500 cans of film;
over 20,000 prints, slides and negatives of BBC Northern Ireland programmes;
local press releases and cuttings;
a collection of BBC publications; and,
all BBC Northern Ireland radio news and current affairs output from 1990 onwards.
The archive is a valuable source of information on many aspects of the life and culture of the people of Ulster during the 20th century and it charts BBC Northern Ireland's role as a public service broadcaster.
Computerised databases are used to manage the archive and enable responses to queries.
In addition, details of many of the radio programmes appear in "The Radio Catalogue: BBC Northern Ireland Archives at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum”, compiled and edited by Grainne Loughran and Marian McCavana (Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, 1993).
The archive welcomes all enquiries, whether from bona fide researchers or interested members of the public. Access to material can be arranged by prior appointment with the Broadcast Archivist and a listening facility is available. However, please note that access is for reference and research purposes only and copies of programmes cannot be provided due to copyright restrictions.
The RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta
The RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta sound archive consists of programmes broadcast from the Doiri Beaga studios in County Donegal between 1972 and 2012. This Irish-language station reflects the way of life of Donegal Gaeltacht. Its 2,000 hours of programming are a rich source of song, poetry, folklore, story, music sport and current affairs.
The archive is of interest to researchers and students of the Irish language. Housed at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum, the archive may be used by bona fide researchers and members of the public. Please note that copies of programmes cannot be provided due to copyright law. Access to the archive is for study and research purposes only, and may only be arranged by prior appointment.
The Sound Archive