‘Remotely Digital’ was a remote digital volunteer project, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund which was completed in November 2023.

The project focussed on training and upskilling remote digital volunteers to help Barnsley Archives and Local Studies to understand, interpret and transcribe our sound and film collections. Volunteers were fully supported by the volunteer manager, a dedicated project heritage professional and the archives team throughout their time volunteering. Examples of collections the volunteers worked on can be viewed on this page.

Worsbrough Voices

Worsbrough Voices

The Worsbrough Voices oral history project was run by Worsbrough Library, with the support of Barnsley Archives and Local Studies. The aim was to capture reminiscences and memories of the area and its industries.

Beardshall Collection

Beardshall Collection

Arthur Beardshall was born in Elsecar in 1918. He married Gladys Bentley in 1948. He spent most of his life in Barnsley and in these recordings he recalls various events and episodes in his life.

Harold Taylor Collection

Harold Taylor Collection

Harold Taylor (1926-2015) was a local historian who had a special interest in the history of the linen industry in the Barnsley area. He also recorded a rare local interview with a former Barnsley soldier recalling events of World War One.

Who were our volunteers?

Diversity of volunteers has been a key outcome of the programme, the statistics shown demonstrate a volunteer diversity not seen in our more localised in-person volunteering opportunities.

  • 65 volunteers engaged
  • 20% of volunteers identified as neurodivergent
  • 27% identified as not heterosexual
  • 24% identified as not White British
  • 81% in the age range 18 - 49

What have we learnt?

  • 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 type of volunteering meant that it could be done at any time, any place and what a volunteer can offer varies
  • 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 gave 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)

“…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)

Made possible with Heritage Fund logo