Established in 1996 as the Northside Folklore Project, the Cork Folklore Project has been carrying out collection, access provision and dissemination of oral testimony relating to the city of Cork, Ireland, for 25 years. Its foundation began with consideration of the nature of the urban landscape, physical and social (where and what is the Northside?), and down through the years different collection projects have foregrounded the experience of place by Cork locals born and bred, and from further afield. Whether infused with the freshness of experience of a new migrant, or through the eyes of a child of 70 years ago, the present and vanished landscape of the city can be explored in our holdings and dissemination through remembered sounds, smells, and experiences, in testimony in which emotion, humour and the energy of performance exist alongside pauses, silences and reflection. At a time when the phrase ‘placemaking’ is incorporated into its directorate titles by Cork City Council, and when explorations of place attachment feature strongly in arts practice, we reflect on the role of oral testimony in explorations of the relationship between people and place. Do current curated dissemination strategies or interventions do more than just scratch the surface?