British Library Archival Sounds Recordings

The British Library project on "Archival Sounds Recordings" in association with the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) explores "44,500 selected recordings of music, spoken word, and human and natural environments". Access to digital materials are subordinated to copyrights and to geographical provenience: UK libraries and universities access is different from world-wide access.

There's a section called Oral history and one "can browse within the various collections making up the category, as follows:

There's also a history section called Sound recording history and one "can browse within the various collections making up the category, as follows":

  • Early record catalogues. "Circa 170 record catalogues have been digitised to be searchable in pdf format. These early catalogues cover discs produced by record companies for the British market during the acoustic era from 1898 to 1926. In addition to the major record companies, smaller companies are represented such as Aco and Homochord as well as foreign companies such as Odeon and Pathé who were producing discs in the UK at the time. HMV is represented by nearly all of the annual catalogues as well as fascinating illustrated monthly bulletins for the years preceding the First World War. Vocalion catalogues from the 1920s and a selection of Zonophone catalogues are also included."
  • Oral history of recorded sound. "100 interviews with people involved in all areas of the recording industry: artists, engineers, managers, producers, musicians, record company personnel, wildlife recordists, journalists and broadcaster, including accounts of the work of pioneers such as Fred Gaisberg (who first recorded Caruso), Cecil Watts (pioneer of direct cut disc recording), Alan Blumlein (microphones), Arthur Haddy ("father of hi-fi"), and Berliner. More. All recordings on this site are governed by licence agreements.
  • Playback and recording equipment. Anyone can "view over 400 images of more than 90 machines from the British Library Sound Archive's collection of playback and recording devices, charting the history of sound reproduction technology."
  • Last update

    Monday, 8 August 2011 - 3:40pm
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