Looking at archival sound: Enhancing the listening experience in a spoken word archive

Annie Murray, Jared Wiercinski


What helps researchers listen in deep and engaged ways to poetry that is delivered on the Web? This paper considers how visual aspects of Web–based archives for poetry recordings can enhance the listening experience for users by providing more context and clarification that can help users better understand and use the recordings. Drawing from studies in a variety of disciplines that demonstrate that much of our learning is multimodal, the SpokenWeb project in Montreal, Canada is using digitized live recordings of a Montreal poetry reading series from 1965–1972 featuring performances by major North American poets to investigate the features that will be the most conducive to scholarly engagement with recorded poetry recitation and performance. Visual features such as tethering audio playback with a written transcript, sound visualization and including videos and images are discussed as means to enhance the listening experience in a digital spoken word archive.


audio archives; audio recordings; sound visualisation; web interfaces; poetry

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v17i4.3808

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