The Keep, Brighton

External shot of the Keep, showing a modern white building with trees outside it.

The Keep is one of 10 UK-wide partners who are helping save the nation’s sounds as part of the Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project.

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The South East Hub for UOSH is based at The Keep in Brighton, a world-class centre for archives, conservation and access. The Keep is home to the East Sussex and Brighton and Hove Record Office (ESBHRO), the Royal Pavilion & Museum Trust’s Local History Collections and the University of Sussex Special Collections. Public engagement and making our shared heritage more accessible is at the heart of The Keep’s work, and UOSH is a key part of this.

Since its start in November 2018, the South East Hub has worked with sound collections from The Keep Partners, and regional archives and museums, including:

  • Southampton Archives
  • the National Motor Museum Trust
  • Hampshire Archives
  • Eden Valley Museum.

Oral history forms a large part of the sound collections preserved, reflecting an active approach to recording and archiving the life stories of people from across the region. We also have a mixture of radio and diverse music collections. Some of the highlights include:

  • Oral history collections include interviews from the British Australian Migration Research Project the Ashdown Forest
  • Winchester Art School
  • Over 800 interviews from recorded by the Southampton Oral History Unit. These interviews cover all areas of life in the 20th century, along with the particular experiences of groups such as Asian women in the South East and Southampton’s Black community.
  • BBC Radio Brighton collection, a remarkable set of recordings from one of the UK’s first BBC local radio stations, covering the period 196883.
  • Folk music from the Copper Family and the Woodfidley Folk Group.
  • Eclectic recordings of amateur film-maker, Eda Moore.
  • A large collections of recordings, all with some connection to motoring (UTK007), one of the 20th century’s most profound technological developments.

Increasing awareness of and access to sound recordings in archives and museums is one of the key aims of the South East Hub. Working with Brighton & Hove Music for Connection, the Hub has explored a number of creative approaches to using sound for engagement, moving this online during the Covid19 lockdown in 2020. The first project, Sounds to Keep, was recorded in a digital story. There has also been an active programme of volunteering, enabling people to learn new skills, develop their knowledge of sound preservation, and build confidence in the work place.

In total, the South East Hub has preserved over 40 sound collections, comprising 3000+ tapes, cassettes, minidiscs and CDs, ensuring that the sounds and voices of the past, can be savoured and enjoyed in the future.

Find out more here:


Twitter: @KeepSounds

Blog: Keep Sounds Blog


Compressed magenta sound-wave graphic. Logo for Unlocking Our Sound Heritage. National Lottery Heritage Fund crossed fingers logo


Unlocking Our Sound Heritage

Unlocking our Sound Heritage is a UK-wide project that will help save the nation’s sounds and open them up to everyone.

All projects