Sounds

Discover an array of vibrant sound recordings and archives, both online and onsite at the British Library, St Pancras. The collections range from oral commentaries and histories, to linguistic studies, and nature and wildlife sounds, a collection guide is available on the British Library site.

Sounds | Resonance FM Archive | Environment & Nature Sounds | Sounds Familiar | BBC Voices | Europeana Creative Wildlife Sounds | Digital Music Labs | Europeana Sounds | UK Sound Map - Europeana Creative

Resonance FM Archive

We are in the early stages of exploring the potential of using an archive of almost 10 years of recordings of Resonance FM. The Library holds the complete extant recorded output of the station from 2002 to 2011 as ROT (recordings of transmission) made by the radio station, plus accompanying metadata and other electronic data yet to be assessed. Total volume is around 4TB (plus back-up) as MP3 (as transmitted) as 4 x 2TB hard drives containing:
  • Complete station 'day files' (i.e. near continuous transmission recordings – typically one or two per day
  • Individual programme recordings extracted from the day files by Resonance for re-transmission purposes

The metadata we have is in the form of electronic schedule data in Filemaker Pro format (for period 2002-July 2007) and also extracted as html and data in i-Cal format (for period July 2007-2011).

Access Conditions

Access to this data is only available on site at the moment. If you are interested in working with this data, contact us.

Environment & Nature Sounds

Thousands of recordings from the Sound Archive's unrivalled natural sounds collection is available for free download as MP3s to staff and students in UK higher and further education institutions (through Athens authentication) for research purposes. It includes recordings of great scientific, cultural and historic interest, please feel free to browse the website

Collection level metadata for this collection is available upon request in CSV format.

Access Conditions

Please contact labs@bl.uk

Sounds Familiar

71 sound recordings and over 600 short audio clips chosen from two collections of the British Library Sound Archive: the Survey of English Dialects and the Millennium Memory Bank. You’ll hear Londoners discussing marriage and working life, Welsh teenagers talking with pride about being bilingual and the Aristocracy chatting about country houses. You can explore the links between present-day Geordie and our Anglo-Saxon and Viking past or discover why Northern Irish accents are a rich blend of seventeenth century English and Scots. You can study changes in pronunciation among the middle classes or find out how British Asians express their linguistic identity. Please feel free to browse the collection.

Collection level metadata for this collection is available upon request in XML format.

Access Conditions

Please contact labs@bl.uk

BBC Voices

283 conversations about language recorded by BBC Nations and Regions as part of the nationwide BBC Voices survey of 2005. Please feel free to browse the collection.

Collection level metadata for this collection is available upon request in XML format.

Access Conditions

Please contact labs@bl.uk

Europeana Creative Wildlife Sounds

A collection of 2000 wildlife sound recordings.

Feel free to browse the collection and keep an eye on it as more items are being added to it.

Access Conditions

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The British Library's content is available under a CC-BY lisence whereas third-party content is available under a CC-BY-NC lisence.

Digital Music Labs

A sum of sounds metadata released by the British Library to Europeana in order to assist in the Digital Music Lab Project.

Information on the project can be found here.

Access Conditions

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The metadata is available under a CC0 lisence.

Europeana Sounds

Mostly consisting of wildlife sounds like those from various animals, the collection is being hosted on the Europeana Sounds Project website.

Access the collection here.

Access Conditions

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The metadata is available under a CC0 lisence.

UK Sound Map - Europeana Creative

The project itself seeks to encourage people working in the creative industries to re-use digitised content from some of Europe's most revered cultural institutions. The online discovery platform Europeana is at the heart of the project and features millions of items, from paintings and manuscripts to sounds and sheet music.

The UK Soundmap, part of the Europeana Creative Project, is the first nationwide sound map which invited people to record the sounds of their environment, be it at home, work or play.

Access the collection here.

Access Conditions

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The metadata is available under a CC0 lisence whereas the content is available under a
CC-BY-NC license.