In its communications gallery, staff at National Museums Scotland were keen to include a fundamental of human communication – speech. This paper will outline a display of speech mediated by machines, from the experiments first speaking clock to the now omnipresent synthetic voices of devices of satnavs and smoke alarms. It will explore how the Museum might approach collecting apps and devices to enhance communication for people with no voice and limited mobility. I hope this presentation will form part of this conference's later discussions to explore not only what museums collect, but how that material can be interpreted for diverse audiences. This paper attempts to set out how National Museums Scotland (NMS) tackled the issue of displaying speech in a gallery on communication. We chose to do so through speech mediated by machines. Today I will show you how we approached this and also include a few examples of speech related objects in other museums, as an indication of what can be, and what has been, collected, as well as examples of what is still to be collected.
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