Orkney Library and Archive


44 Junction Road
KW15 1AG
United Kingdom

Collection owner: 



The Orkney Sound Archive project was launched in 1979 with the support of BBC Radio Orkney, Orkney Islands Council and The Scottish Council for Educational Technology. It holds around 1500 recordings; 500 5-inch magnetic reels, 700 7-inch magnetic reels, 300 audio cassettes. Of importance within Orkney Sound Archive are the recordings of Orcadian folklorist and writer Ernest Marwick, who collected historical information on the customs and traditions of his native islands used sound recordings as an ideal way to record and preserve the traditional stories and songs of Orkney. Subjects also covered by the collection include art, literature, natural history, archaeology, fishing, farming, wartime experiences. local dialects etc.

Opening Times: 

Mon, Tue, Fri, Sat open from 09.15 - 17.00, Thu open 09.15 - 19.00, closed on Wednesdays and Sundays, Easter Monday, May Day public holiday and over the Christmas period.

Access conditions: 

Access to recordings are at the discretion of Archive staff so it is always best to contact the archive prior to any planned visit. Copies of some tapes are available.


+441856 873166

Contact name 1: 

David Mackie

Email 1: 

Contact name 2: 

Lucy Gibbon

Email 2: