British Library Archival Sound Recordings

Explore 44,900 selected recordings of music, spoken word, and human and natural environments

how to build a Spy Transmitter

This simple 2 transistor audio transmitter will send the sounds picked up in a room to any FM radio tuned to the same frequency as the transmitter, somewhere between 80 and 100 Megahertz.


Since 1950, Pacific Garden Mission has produced this unique series, making "UNSHACKLED!" the longest-running radio drama in history. Still produced in the style of the "Golden Age" of radio, every element is live at the time of the production — the original music, the creative sound effects and, of course, the dynamic performances of talented professional actors.

Listening to the Deep Ocean

LIDO (Listening to the Deep Ocean environment) proposes to establish a first nucleus of a regional network of multidisciplinary seafloor observatories contributing to the coordination of high quality research in the ESONET NoE by allowing the long-term monitoring of Geohazards and Marine Ambient Noise in the Mediterranean Sea and the adjacent Atlantic waters. Specific activities are addressed by long-term monitoring of earthquakes and tsunamis and the characterisation of ambient noise induced by marine mammals (Bioacoustics) and anthropogenic noise.


Investigative Report: Radio and U.S. Military Psypos

Clandestine radio is an extremely effective form of propaganda that oftentimes supports military operations. Along with other tactics, including the dropping of leaflets and the use of loudspeakers, radio can "win the hearts and minds" of the target audience and has, in the past, won compliance from hostile leaders. Although clandestine radio broadcasts are generally associated with intelligence agencies and guerilla groups, the U.S. Army has long used it for PSYPOS - Psychological Operations.

Combat Loudspeakers: Weapon of the Battlefield Evangelists

The purpose of this work is to provide historical evidence that the innovative use of tactical loudspeakers has been, and will continue to be, a viable and an essential "weapon" in the arsenal of U.S. military forces. Although loudspeaker teams have been employed for all peacekeeping operations in the past 50 years,including Somalia, Haiti and Bosnia/Kosovo, the focus of this work is their use on the battlefield against an enemy soldier.

The Wandering Soul PsyOp tape of Vienam

Helicopters were used to broadcast Vietnamese voices pretending to be from beyond the grave. They called on their "descendents" in the Vietcong to defect, to cease fighting. This campaign played the sounds and messages all night in order to spook the superstitious enemy. Despite eventually realizing that they were hearing a recording beamed from a helicopter, the enemy gunners could not help but fear that their souls would some day end up moaning and wailing in a similar fashion after death.


The Alchemists of Sound

2003 Documentary on the BBC Radiophonic Workshop


One Square Inch of Silence

One Square Inch of Silence is the quietest place in the United States.

One Square Inch of Silence was designated on Earth Day 2005 (April 22, 2005) to protect and manage the natural soundscape in Olympic Park’s backcountry wilderness. The logic is simple; if a loud noise, such as the passing of an aircraft, can impact many square miles, then a natural place, if maintained in a 100% noise-free condition, will also impact many square miles around it. It is predicted that protecting a single square inch of land from noise pollution will benefit large areas of the park.

Local radio proves a lifeline in Haiti

from PRI's The World

Communications are still disrupted in Haiti, hampering relief efforts. Cell phone service, is, however, slowly being restored, as are Internet connections. But in the aftermath of the earthquake, many Haitians have turned to local radio as a way to get, and share, information. We hear from Mario Viau, director of SignalFM in Port-au-Prince, which has somehow managed to keep broadcasting, on the airwaves and online, since the earthquake struck.

Acoustic Levitation Chamber

by Dr. David Deak:

This is an acoustic levitation chamber I designed and built in 1987 as a micro-gravity experiment for NASA related subject matter.
The 12 inch cubed plexiglas Helmholtz Resonant Cavity has 3 speakers attached to the cube by aluminium acoustic waveguides.
By applying a continuous resonant(600Hertz) sound wave, and by adjusting the amplitude and phase relationship amongst the 3 speakers; I was able to control levitation and movement in all 3 (x,y,z) axis of the ambient space.