May 21, 2022

Research Resources: University Of Glasgow Makes Gaelic/English Audio Archive Freely Available

From the University of Glasgow:

Their songs and stories speak of a different time.

Living memories passed down from parent to child over generations.

Now audio recordings of the traditions of crofters, farm workers and fishermen, in English and Gaelic, along with some Scots, were today (27 August) put online by the University of Glasgow.


It is part of the University’s continued drive to make the riches of traditional Gaelic speech more accessible to speakers, non-speakers and learners alike.

The move comes as the Digital Archive of Scottish Gaelic (DASG), an online repository of digitised texts and lexical resources for the language, celebrates its 10th anniversary.

It also heralds a new direction for DASG of focusing more on the spoken word to include oral traditions of storytelling, folklore, songs and poetry.

It is also hoped that the audio archive will help to raise interest among new audiences in learning more about Scottish Gaelic and its oral traditions.


In total, some 42 audio files are being published. Nine are from the newly launched Cluas ri Claisneachd Archive, recorded in Campbeltown in Scotland and also Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and Canada, which will be fully transcribed and searchable with detailed contents.

These recordings were mostly made during the collection phase for the Historical Dictionary of Scottish Gaelic Project (HDSG) in the 1970s. It also includes other reel-to-reel tapes and cassettes donated to Celtic and Gaelic in the College of Arts.

A further 33 audio files are being published from the Mòthan Archive, all gathered in North and South Uist, Scalpay, Harris, Barra, Berneray and Benbecula by American Tracy Chipman during the 1990s and early 2000s. These were recorded in English and Gaelic and will be fully transcribed or subtitled in due course.

The audio tapes range from fishing terminology to songs and poems as well as stories about everything from courting to traditional ailment cures to fairy stories and premonitions.

Many of those featured in the audio archive have since died and it will be the first time their families and friends have heard the recordings.


The Digital Archive of Scottish Gaelic is funded by the British Academy, and is an online repository of digitised texts, lexical resources and fieldwork recordings for Scottish Gaelic.

Learn More, Read the Complete Launch Announcement

Direct to Digital Archive of Scottish Gaelic

See Also: More About the DASG Project

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.