Cornish Tales

Cornish Tales

Cornwall Museums Partnership


17 May 2021 onwards

A new and innovative way to explore the oral histories and audio archives of Cornwall’s museums and archives has just launched. ‘Cornish Tales’ enables users to travel through time and the Duchy, listening to stories from the archives of St Ives Archive, PK Porthcurno, Kresen Kernow and the Cornish Music Archive. 

Launched by Cornwall Museums Partnership in collaboration with digital agency Hi9, this brand-new immersive experience pushes the boundaries of smart speaker technology and enables global access to oral histories, music, and recordings – previously unavailable online. This is the first time a collaboration of cultural organisations has enabled access to audio resources in such an innovative way – and really is at the forefront of the use of this type of technology anywhere in the UK. 

These stories have been curated into a new immersive and interactive narrative where users will visit ‘Memory Lane Tavern’ to hear songs, head to the bus stop for a journey through time to Porthcurno, St Ives, or Redruth, or jump to specific audio clips that they would like to hear. Over 500 variations of the experience are available, which means users can have a different experience every time or revisit their favourite parts.  

Users can navigate through the experience using just their voice – meaning that the experience has been designed to be as accessible as possible. Hi9’s philosophy is that their technology should be able to be used intuitively by everyone – from aged 4 to 84. The experience is also being trialled by care homes across Cornwall, in partnership with EPIC Health – a project led by the University of Plymouth’s Centre for Health Technology which has provided over 150 Amazon Echo smart speakers for care homes in Cornwall. The hope is that in future, these experiences can be used by care providers to support with reminiscence work. 

This highly experimental and innovative research project has been funded by the Museums Association’s Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund and The Space. 

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