What is it? 

‘Remotely Digital’ is our remote digital volunteer project, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The project is training, upskilling and using remote digital volunteers to help Barnsley Archives and Local Studies to understand, interpret and transcribe our sound and film collections. Volunteers are fully supported by the volunteer manager and archives team throughout their time volunteering.


"It's so interesting. I' think I'm going to enjoy it. Different way to see and learn what is in the archives”

(Mar, Remotely Digital volunteer)

What are we working on? 

Barnsley Archives and Local Studies holds a large collection of sound recordings and films which capture aspects of the area’s rich history. These include important oral history recordings, films which capture the iconic Barnsley Mayor’s Parade, and early cine film footage of families enjoying their leisure time in the Borough. Other subjects covered include sport, school days, royal visits, healthcare and industry.   

One example is a series of 'Worsbrough Voices' sound recordings which were sent to volunteers to transcribe. Alongside the transcribing work, volunteers also created metadata (information about data) for these sound recordings for cataloguing onto the Calm database.

'Worsbrough Voices' recordings were conducted by staff at Worsbrough Library in 2018 and then deposited with Barnsley Archives and Local Studies. These sound recordings reflect the life, stories, memories and experiences of residents living in Worsbrough. It will be great when this collection is fully transcribed and catalogued by the volunteers, enabling them be shared with members of the public.

“We want to give back and enjoy it!"

(Remotely Digital volunteer)

What have we learned so far?

  • Transcribing can be a long process and it’s ok to go at the pace that works for you
  • Remote digital volunteering can be as rewarding as any other type of volunteering, volunteers can contribute to heritage and get the same sense of satisfaction
  • Flexibility is key, this volunteering can be done at any time and any place and what a volunteer can offer will vary
  • Always ask questions and seek feedback, it’s how we all work out what works
  • Everyone needs to take time to figure out what works for them, we have access to transcribing software but equally a simple word processor and audio player can be as effective



“I hope this project keeps going because it’s been great!”

(Remotely Digital volunteer)

Want to get involved?

We have plenty of material to work on and are still welcoming volunteers to get involved.

Email museumvolunteering@barnsley.gov.uk and a member of our team will get back to you.


“…It's been really interesting to listen to the story that is being told and learn more about the history of Barnsley.”

(Olivia, Remotely Digital volunteer)