Established in 1969 as the British Library of Wildlife Sounds, the collection now holds more than 240,000 field recordings covering all classes of sound-producing animals.

The Wildlife Sound Archive, which is part of the wider British Library sound archive, includes over 10,000 species of birds, mammals, amphibians, fish, reptiles and insects including many that are considered to be endangered. Nearly every British and European species is represented in the collection, often with several audio examples of their vocalisation. Most of these sound recordings have come from donations and many are unique to the Library.

Alongside recordings specific to the various species, the Wildlife Sound Archive contains atmospheric, environmental and natural sounds such as woodlands, rainforests, coastlines, waterfalls, rivers and thunder.

A large number of recordings have been digitised, and are searchable and freely available to listen to online.

The British Library offers training workshops and events in oral history and wildlife sound recording, as well as audio-visual archiving internships.

Fun Fact

The British Library staff contribute to a blog about the wider collection, which includes a ‘recording of the week’, highlighting some of the wonderful material in the collections.

About this Contributor

Contributor type
Organisation
URL
https://www.bl.uk/collection-guides/wildlife-and-environmental-sounds
Minutes created
Collection 3 #44, Collection 3 #50, Collection 3 #6, Collection 3 #13, Collection 3 #19, Collection 3 #24, Collection 3 #26, Collection 3 #32, Collection 3 #37, Collection 2 #18, Collection 2 #15, Collection 2 #55, Collection 1 #1, Collection 1 #14, Collection 1 #26, Collection 1 #18, Collection 1 #32, Collection 1 #29, Collection 1 #36, Collection 1 #60, Collection 1 #56

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