This library is the place for you to visit if you enjoy exploring new, exciting worlds of music and, generally, sounds. People from the British Library Sounds documented, digitalized, and made accessible one of the world’s largest collection of published and unpublished recordings from all over the world. Recordings are accompanied by precise data on the theme, so it’s pretty easy to navigate and explore the files. Institution preserves some of the sounds that date back to the 19th century. Thus the collection represents a massive archive of recordings, both commercial and archival. It’s like an endless source of information and knowledge.
The brilliance of this project lies in the fact that you can explore and learn about things that aren’t on your regular social media channels. About stuff that is not covered by the magazines that you usually follow. Recordings are priceless and are an unbelievable source of pieces of information and opinions. Some of them do have the flavour of past times and that’s perfectly fine. We have to have a way to enter and explore those times a bit more.
Accessible files are just a part of the treasure the British Library guards: there are 3.5 million sounds in their library. Nevertheless, this corpus will provide hours of endless listening pleasure for you to experience, completely free. More than 50,000 recordings are online.
It’s a sure thing that you’ll stumble upon a couple of Easter eggs while browsing the collection. Per instance, you can find early recordings of wildlife sounds: this Afrotropical atmosphere dates back to 1938. There are 1806 recordings of powerful personal stories of the Holocaust from Jewish survivors living in Britain. The beauty of this project lies in the fact that you can explore and learn across topics and time frames.
You can find out more about the project, lessons learned and the full business case on their website. While browsing, don’t forget to visit the Sound and Vision blog, which is up and running! You can even follow them on Twitter, their handle is @soundarchive.
Image source: Wikipedia.