British Library Sound Archive

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British Library Sound Archive

Formerly the National Sound Archive, the British Library Sound Archive holds one of the world's largest collections of recordings variously described as traditional, folk or 'world' music. It is a valuable resource for musicians of all backgrounds and an essential reference collection for the study of ethnomusicology and anthropology.

World and traditional music: sound recordings

Archival Sound Recordings - includes early 20th century cylinder recordings (e.g. of John Locke and Peter Verrall), and recordings from collectors such as Mike Yates, Roy Palmer and Keith Summers

Anyone can

  • Search all recordings on the site
  • Listen to recordings where copyright permits - currently over 25,300 items

Users in licensed UK higher or further education institutions can additioanlly listen to and download any of the recordings.

Sound Archive catalogue