Archival Sound Recordings - Content Currently Available

Content Currently Available

The British Library Sounds website covers a broad range of content:

  • Accents and dialects of spoken English, including extracts from the Survey of English Dialects, the Millennium Memory Bank of personal oral histories, the Berliner Lautarchiv of British World War I prisoners, and a 1940s University College London phonetics research collection.
  • Arts, literature and performance includes Institute of Contemporary Arts, London – Talks, 1981–1992 and early spoken word recordings (including Winston Churchill and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle); and the St Mary-le-Bow public debates.
  • Classical music: recordings of Canonical Classical Repertoire 1926-1956 (including all recordings held from the repertoire of Bach, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, and Brahms on 78rpm shellac discs together with early long-playing vinyl discs); and Dutch String Quartet, the London Trio and the Philharmonic Quartet and other chamber music performers.
  • Environment and nature, including hundreds of examples of British wildlife sounds, historic wildlife recordings and amphibians sounds.
  • Jazz and popular music has interviews of recordings of British Jazz musicians and the complete set of programmes from arts broadcaster Touch Radio.
  • Oral history including Holocaust Survivors' Centre interviews, the collection of oral history pioneer George Ewart Evans, Oral History of British Science and collections created by National Life Stories.
  • Sound recording history including scans of rare early record company catalogues, over 400 images of historic playback equipment and 100 interviews charting the history of sound recording.
  • World and traditional music: a wide range of musical styles from around the world. These range from the Decca Records West Africa "Yellow Label" Series and music of India collected by ethnomusicologist Rolf Killius to Traditional Music in England, a vast collection of 20,000 recordings of popular ballads, children's skipping songs, customs, music hall, soldiers' songs folk tales and interviews.

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