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Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk



Online Sound Archives

Many National Libraries have begun to exploit the potential of the World Wide Web in making their collections more widely available. Many of them will even copy their recordings for you - at a cost, and depending on the copyright issues involved.

United Kingdom

The National Sound Archive
The British Library contains recordings ranging from opera to wildlife noises. The online catalogue is updated daily and you can search by record label, artist, instrument, title and date. No sound clips yet, but they are promised in the future.




ScreenSound Australia
This is the national screen and sound archive.


The Phonogram Archive
This is part of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. It was founded in 1899 and is the oldest sound archive in the world. Its collection includes recordings of traditional Viennese music and songs performed by the country's Jewish community.



The Finnish Institute of Recorded Sound
This was founded by enthusiasts to collect all Finnish records made prior to the 1981 legislation which enforced legal deposits of national recordings.


National Library of Germany
Germany's national music archive announced in May 2001 that it had transferred 2000 hours of music by East German composers to CD. It will be listing the entire catalogue on its site at



Russian State Library
The rich resources of the Russian State Library include millions of audio items, printed music and autograph scores.



The Biblioteca Nacional de Espa
This is the main information and document centre for Spanish and Latin-American culture, including music, since the beginning of the 18th century.



Gothenburg University Library
The library of Gothenburg University holds 25,000 recordings.



The Swiss National Sound Archive
This includes both recordings made in Switzerland and abroad of works by native composers and authors. It also has recordings by Swiss labels and historical radio broadcasts 1932-1955.


United States

Library of Congress Recorded Sound Reference Center
This collection dates from 1926 when Victor Records donated 400 discs. It now has more than 2 million and 100,000 recordings are added each year. The catalogue is called Sonic (Sound Online Inventory and Catalogue). The collection also includes the Emile Berliner archive.


The Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives
These cover every aspect of recorded sound including recordings from the Metropolitan Opera House 1901 - 1903


National Screen and Sound Archive of Wales
A comprehensive collection of Welsh sound recordings, music, film and television programmes.


Please note We are not responsible for the content of other organisations' websites.