About Us

This is the blog for The Regional Ethnology of Scotland Project (RESP)

The Regional Ethnology of Scotland Project (RESP) works with people in communities across Scotland to collect material relating to local life and society through recorded fieldwork interviews. This work, which began with a pilot study in Dumfries & Galloway in 2011, is conducted on a regional basis. Work is currently ongoing in several parts of Scotland, particularly East Lothian (2018-present), and also on the Western Isles and in Tayside, Edinburgh, the Scottish Borders, Argyll, West Lothian and the North-east.

The RESP is a key focus of the work of the European Ethnological Research Centre (EERC) at the University of Edinburgh.  Research staff at the Centre work in partnership with local people and organisations, such as archive and library services, voluntary organisations and schools, to reach as many people as possible so that the resulting archive of recordings can endeavour to represent people from across all parts of the community.

The interviews are conducted by local volunteers who are trained and provided with ongoing support by the EERC. Those who conduct the interviews, and those who are interviewed, are able to choose to base their interview on whatever aspects of their lives and the places they live are most appropriate or meaningful.  In this way, the RESP aspires to compile an archive which records, with nuance and detail, an accurate record of life and society as it is experienced by the individual in the place where the recording was made.

A dedicated website provides access to the recordings made as part of the RESP. In order to encourage and facilitate access to this collection, detailed summaries for each item are provided in the collections catalogue along with keyword, name and place search options.  Most of the interviews have been transcribed in full and the transcriptions are available on this site. The collection can be browsed in a number of ways or can be interrogated by free-text searching.

The ethos of the RESP is that the collection is the creation of those who have made the recordings. As such, it is a central aim of the RESP that the recordings are made freely available in an easily accessible way. The RESP website, along with making the materials openly accessible through a Creative Commons licence, are the main ways in which we seek to meet this objective.

You can visit the website here: https://collections.ed.ac.uk/eerc/