British Library Sound Archives Go Digital
The British Library is home to one of the largest sound archives in the world. As of the 31 January 2012, they have presented over 50,000 recordings and their associated documentation from the Library's extensive collections of unique sound recordings which come from all over the world and address a huge range of recorded sounds, digitally: drama and literature, oral history, wildlife and environmental sounds and, most importantly to us at World Music Network, hundreds upond thousands of musical cultures.
Hundreds of recordings have now become available online digitally as of 31 January 2012. The selection available comes from the 3.5 million sounds held in the British Library. You can search and browse the entire collection with the sound archive catalogue.
The original selections were made during the Archival Sound Recordings (ASR) project that ran from 2004 to 2009 and which was funded by the JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) under its Digitisation Programme. British Library Sounds is the new name for Archival Sound Recordings.
The British Library is making these collections of ethnographic available for non-commercial research, study and private enjoyment. The World and Traditional Music collections include the works of Arthur Morris Jones' work in Africa as well as Peter Cooke's work in Uganda. The collection is undoubtedly a priceless resource for both academic and leisure listeners.
Below is a snippet of the type of recordings now available digitally.
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New City Music, Chicago: 'a great showcase of the funky sounds currently made in Crescent City'.
The Guardian, UK, 3*** stars: 'A classy compilation'.
Guardian, UK 4****stars: 'A highly original, compelling set'.
Froots, UK: '... a superb album of an under-represented music ... and comes highly recommended'.