Audio descriptions

Exhibition details
27th September 2018
Introducing My Treasure, Our Story
27th September 2018

Audio descriptions

Project Attributes


Sensing the Past


Coleraine Museum


27th September 2018

Using integrated audio descriptions was one of the ways we sought to make the Sensing the Past exhibition accessible to a wider audience. The RNIB provided Coleraine Museum with several Penfriends, versatile handheld scanners with inbuilt speakers, which we used to full effect.

Each of our information panels, object cases, and handling objects were provided with special barcodes which prompted the Penfriends to play brief audio descriptions when scanned. Our audio descriptions provided background information to each theme, and described all images and objects used in the exhibition.

Abridged versions of the audio descriptions are provided via the links in each of the titles below. We would like to express our most sincere gratitude to the volunteers who leant their voices to these descriptions, and to the external organisations which generously allowed us to use parts of their own recordings as ambient introductions.

Panel 1. Sensing the Past: Irish History Starts Here

This panel introduces the exhibition and provides background information on the community engagement programme which led to its creation. Voices of participants in the engagement programme can be heard at the beginning and end of the recording. The tin whistle is played by Julie Graham, the harp by Lucy Millar; the speaker is Nic Wright.

Panel 2. Stone Age Life in Coleraine: Irish History Starts Here

The second panel looks at the life of the first people in Ireland who lived during the Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) and Neolithic (New Stone Age) periods. Ambient birdsong and forest sounds were provided by the British Library; the speaker is Jim Allen.

Panel 3. The Causeway Coast during the Bronze Age

Panel 3 discusses the Bronze Age site of Corrstown, Portrush, and its significance as the largest settlement of its time in Ireland or Britain. Sheep and field sounds were provided by the British Library; the speaker is Jean Clayton.

Panel 4. St Patrick's legacy: Medieval Churches and Monasteries

This panel explores St Patrick’s role in the foundation of Coleraine and the churches and monasteries which followed, transforming our area into a centre of Medieval industry. The 12th century hymn used in the introduction is Salve Regina, sung by the brothers of Glenstall Abbey; the speaker is Ronan McConnell.

Panel 5. 17th Century Coleraine: First Town of the Londonderry Plantation

Panel 5 looks at the commercial changes brought about by the plantation of Co. Londonderry by English, Scottish and Welsh settlers in the early 1600s. The ambient market town sounds were provided by the British Library; the speaker is Barbara Harding.

Panel 6. Blind Bards of the Causeway Coast

The last of our panels explored the lives of a number of influential blind musicians who came from Ireland’s North Coast. The tin whistle was played by Julie Graham; the speaker is Maureen McClean.