Audio Archives

Seamus Heaney Centre Digital Archive

Person Describing Archive

Deanna Fong (2012); Chelsea Obodoechina (2020)

Is this primarily a poetry audio site?


Sponsoring Person or Institution

Queens University Belfast

Site URL

Site Last Updated
Date Visited


General Description of Archive

The SHCDA is an archive of public poetry readings, designed to encourage appreciation of the public performance of poetry. It is administered by the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University Belfast and the Special Collections department of Queen’s University Belfast Library. The SHCDA produces original recordings of public poetry performances and accepts donations of the same.


UPDATE (Chelsea Obodoechina): Link is no longer functional and a website cannot be found at this time.

Description of archive history or URL

Contact information

Searchable options

General search bar, "search and browse tips" page

Relation from the audio to the text

"To retain an emphasis on the performative qualities of poetry, the SCHDA DOES NOT PROVIDE TRANSCRIPTIONS OF ITS RECORDINGS. However, bibliographic details of ‘print-published’ sources of the recordings are provided, where applicable."

Date/Time/Length/Context info about the audio items

Extensive metadata on each audio file page including: File code, Title, Genre, Event, Venue,
Date recorded, Time of Event, Approximate attendance at event, Source of recording, Recording format, Performer, Author of recorded work, Language, Translator

Author bios and context within literary history

Secondary bibliographic information, if applicable, is given in the following categories:
Author(s)/Ed(s). of Publication, Publication, Publisher, Location of publication, Publication Date.

Audio file type: streaming, download, file format, audio file compression quality (WAV, MP3, bitrate)

Streaming MP3

Multimedia integration (pictures, video, etc.)

Thumbnails of photos on each audio file page, which can be clicked to enlarge. Photos of various categories: author, venue, photos from event, posters, etc.

Audio playback setup (opens in Flash player, on new blank screen, etc.)

Player embedded on page. Very minimal - Play/pause, volume, progress bar (non-manipulable) and timer.

Mobile access (i.e. accessible on smart phones, tablets, etc.)

User can browse by the following categories: Performers, Authors, Publishers, Poems, Prose, Music, Introductions, Thank-yous, Question & Answer, Talks, UTR (Titles "Uncollected at Time of Recording"), Languages, Events, Venues, Translators, Sources of Recording. If browsed by category, the listings appear alphabetically.

Discovery features (pre-made playlists; dynamic lists: lists of recent additions, featured items, related items, etc).
Interactivity and Web 2.0 features
Other notes

Audio presented as track-length poems. The website also features an excellent recommended reading section, and a list of other audio archives.