British Library Sound Archive

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The British Library Sound Archive (formerly: British Institute of Recorded Sound ), based in London, is one of the world's largest sound archives .

Tape machines from the collection of the Sound Archive


The origins of the archive go back to 1905 when the British Museum (BM) started collecting phonograms. The British Gramophone Company helped build the collection with donations in kind. In 1955 the archivist Patrick Saul founded the British Institute of Recorded Sound. In 1983 the sound archive was incorporated into the British Library .


The more than sound recordings in the British Library Sound Archive include over 1 million CDs and thousands of tapes with recordings of the works of Nellie Melba , Enrico Caruso , Francesco Tamagno , Lev Tolstoy , Ernest Shackleton , Herbert Beerbohm Tree and Lewis Waller . The earliest known sound recording by Thomas Edison from 1877 is on display here. The recordings of Nelson Mandela's trial plea and individual speeches by Winston Churchill are also available. The BBC has given parts of its sound archive to the British Library Sound Archive, including a. also the radio recordings from Germany of the Reichstag sessions 1930–1942 . There are also over 100,000 animal voices in one of the world's largest vocal collections.


See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ About the British Library Sound Archive. Library homepage. Retrieved April 6, 2015.
  2. Tierstimmen für Mobilys , , July 7, 2003. Accessed April 6, 2015.