sounds British? Save our Sounds!

BLSaveOurSoundsgramophoneIf, like me, you still regret getting rid of your lovingly created mix cassette tapes, complete with breath of radio 1 DJ at the end of each song, even though you haven’t had anything to play them on for years, this is for you. Your labours of love can come to a safe resting place and become part of history, before the technology on which to play them is completely lost.

The British Library is updating its UK sound directory and they need your help. All sorts of sound recordings are wanted, including private collections, to build up a good record of sounds across the islands. You can find out more here.

The existing collection, includes a fascinating map of dialects and accents, such as this discussion about thinking in Welsh while speaking in English, talking to your deaf aunt or people speaking RP, and all the other impacts of our attitudes to language. There’s also a growing collection of works by poets who have English as a second language. A fascinating world and traditional music collection is available online too.

There is certainly room for a lot more UK sounds, languages and music that isn’t in English. So please share this and get more material added – or more money donated to support the project – before it’s too late.

Translator, editor, writer, reader

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