Housed at the National Library of Wales, Wales Broadcast Archive is the first national broadcast archive in the UK, and one of the most usable broadcast archives in Europe, transforming public access to a century of Welsh broadcast history with film, video and audio in both Welsh and English digitised for discovery. Sarner were engaged by the National Library of Wales to redevelop their 700m2 Grade II-listed South Reading Room into a vibrant, welcoming, positive, inclusive space which uses digital technologies and interactive activities to deliver an exciting and immersive experience for the visitors to the Wales Broadcast Archive.
LocationAberystwyth, Wales, UK
Services- Concept Design & Visualisation - MEP Coordination - Masterplanning - Scheme & Detailed Design - Project Engineering & Technical Design - Interior Design, Set and Staging Design - Audio, Video, Network Design - Audiovisual & Interactive Technologies - Graphics - Show Control Specification - Show Programming - Technical Installation & Commissioning - Installation Supervision - Support & Maintenance - Training - Consultancy
AwardsAV Awards - Audio Technology of the Year (Finalist)
The new Wales Broadcast Archive is unique in that it brings together the archives of three major broadcasters - BBC, ITV and S4C – and contains more than half a million clips reflecting all aspects of life in both the English and Welsh languages. With the support of funding from the National Heritage Lottery Fund and the Welsh Government, for the first time, members of the public will be able to easily access historical footage of their local areas and hear voices from years gone by, gaining a unique insight into the history of the nation.
Sarner were engaged to design and deliver an interactive experience for the Wales Broadcast Archive. The goal was to create an experience which animates stories and objects in the National Broadcast Archive’s collections in a novel, informal, and emotive way and enables the visitors to understand and engage with the Library’s vital collections. Our brief was to create visual interest, a ‘wow’ factor, and inspire curiosity by telling stories in engaging ways for different audiences, with different accessibility needs and suitable for a library setting. Because the South Reading Room is not permanently staffed, all digital experiences had to be fully operational by the visitors unaided. The experience was also required to include an element of adaptability in terms of content and layout, as well as offering a flexible area for the Library’s range of engagement activities.
On 13th February 1923 using what was then the very latest in broadcasting technology, the first live Welsh radio broadcast was made from a studio in Cardiff followed by Mostyn Thomas who sang Dafydd y Garreg Wen, the first Welsh language song broadcast on air. 100 years later we are able to replay these same recordings, once again using the very latest audiovisual technology specified and installed by Sarner to create an exciting new immersive experience showcasing the Wales Broadcast Archive’s collection.
The highlight of the new attraction is an immersive 3D audio experience. In the first permanent audio installation of its kind in the UK, the contemporary exhibition uses innovative 3D audio technology to take visitors on an immersive journey, using Nous Sonic headphones.