Vox Daily The Official Voices.com Blog

Digitizing Culture


By Stephanie Ciccarelli

May 4, 2012

Comments (5)

Portraits of John Harris and Amelia Ryerse Harris 19th CenturyDoes your voice capture moments in time?

Many people are trying to find ways to preserve history and make cultural institutions more accessible to the public.

Comment and let us know where your voice can be heard!

Bringing History, Art and Culture To Life

Cultural institutions such as museums use voice-over to tell stories about people, places and things that have shaped the past. The voice-over can act as an additional means for context and interpretation to educate and engage those who visit their exhibits.

Some months ago, Museum London began photographing their collection of over 5300 works with the goal of posting their digital art collection in Spring 2012 for the general public to view online.

Tweeting The Diary Of Amelia Harris

Do you keep a journal? Museum London has also been using Twitter to tweet snippets of London's history as told by Amelia Harris (1798-1882), the matriarch of the Harris family. John and Amelia built Eldon House in 1834. Many generations of the Harris family were raised in Eldon House until 1960 when the property was donated to the City of London. Eldon House now serves as a museum unto itself giving visitors unique access to see Harris family heirlooms, furnishings and their priceless treasures as well enjoy a beautiful 19th-century style garden. Although surrounded by the city today, the house and its gardens are a place of beauty and tranquility.

Amelia Harris' diary entries, as sourced from writings in the book The Eldon House Diaries: Five Women's Views of the 19th Century, are posted in 140 character increments in tandem with the time and seasons we find ourselves in now. She also posts about current and upcoming events at Eldon House. You can visit Amelia's account here:


How Are Voice Talent Digitizing Culture?

Narration can often be found wherever culture is preserved and celebrated in the form of audio guides or public announcements. Diane Dimond has served as narrator for exhibits in museums as has Claire Dodin whose voice can be heard in the gardens of The Palace of Versailles.

Sound Cloud

There has been a rise in the number of people embracing a technology called Sound Cloud to record their thoughts and favorite writings to share via social networking sites like Facebook. Just today I heard a poem composed by Diane Havens shared via her Sound Cloud account that paints a word picture packed with emotion, clarity and yearning. Diane loves to use her voice to communicate the written word as evidenced by the number of recordings that digitize culture.

What Can You Digitize?

๏ The voices in your head
๏ Journal entries
๏ News
๏ Insights
๏ Poetry
๏ Songs
๏ Memories

Are You Digitizing Culture?

I wonder what would happen if Amelia Harris shared her updates using audio or posted diary entries to Sound Cloud? I'm sure there is an enterprising Londoner who'd love to voice Amelia and share her wit, humour and life with a listening audience!

If you've been helping to digitize culture for museums or are using your voice to create recordings that function as a time capsule of sorts, let me know!

Best wishes,


Image via Eldon House

Related Topics: social networking


    Excellent article! I guess some of the work done for museums and educational videos by Audio Eyes would go under the heading of digitizing culture. Much of the audio description work is done for schools and museums who enhance their educational experience to more fully assist the sight impaired.

    Posted by:

      It’s a sensation, summoning up the voice of a past figure, their life and times, and yes we should use our love of the craft to bring history alive for the young. Voice engages the imagination in a way that no amount of animation or greasepaint can.

      Since you ask, I’m having fun narrating a series of DVDs on the history of English towns: the copy leans on newspaper archive. Pompous, earnest, patriotic, flowery, tongue in cheek: the style evolves across the decades. Of course, Churchill pops up and we all (males, anyway) love a go at him.

      Your tip about Soundcloud is good. You can post much longer, more personal, recordings there than you would in a straight demo setting and you get feedback, right on your tracks! For once, I am fractionally ahead of a VoxDaily, and made a start at ://snd.sc/GBdybK

      Posted by:

        Hi Stephanie!
        I never really thought of our work as "digitizing culture" or history, but I guess you're right--that's a great way of thinking of it!
        I recently voiced several video narrations for Boston's sports teams (Patriots, Red Sox, Bruins, and Celtics). These videos are on display at the "Top of the Hub" in the Prudential Center, downtown Boston...where thousands of visitors, and locals, visit for the best view of the city(there's also a pretty darn good restaurant there, too).
        I'm honored to be 'heard' telling the history of these franchises!
        Best Wishes,


        Posted by:

          Digitized to oblivion! Sorry my shortened Soundcloud link, May 5, was no good. Still learning. Here it is:

          Posted by:
          • Howard Ellison
          • May 5, 2012 1:52 PM

            Enjoyed this article! My sister uses soundcloud to record her music and it's cool because you can see how it has grown and developed. I use a blog to digitize the voices in my head and use it to both document and have fun playing with different character types.

            Posted by:

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