30 March 2015

Save our Sounds - help to create a Directory of UK Sound Collections

Selecting a tape from the shelfThe British Library's Save our Sounds initiative - to try to preserve as much as possible of the nation’s rare and unique sound recordings - has a final deadline for collecting information of 31 May.
International archival consensus is that there are around 15 years in which to preserve our sound collections by digitising them before they become unreadable. By 2030, the scarcity of older equipment and the physical degradation of media will make their preservation costly, difficult and, in many cases, impossible. 

To help plan for preservation, The British Library's project has been mapping the extent of UK sound collections, to identify the risks they face, and to create a Directory of UK Sound Collections.

Since January, it has received details of over 800,000 items - from oral history interviews to experimental music, church bells, fairground organs, trains and silence, lost radio broadcasts and recordings of Tolkien, Ella Fitzgerald and J.B. Priestley, held on everything from wax cylinders to digital files.

Find out more at the project website: www.bl.uk/projects/uk-sound-directory

The results of the survey will be available in June 2015, together with advice on looking after local collections.

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