Rowdy pub sessions in England and ceremonial chants in Fiji
Rare, unpublished and previously unavailable recordings have been launched online thanks to JISC funding for the British Library’s archival sound recordings project.
28,000 recordings covering 2, 000 hours of sound are now online as part of JISC’s digitisation programme, which has invested over £22 million in making available a wide range of heritage and scholarly resources of national importance. All recordings on Archival Sound Recordings are available for free to licensed UK higher and further education institutions
All recordings on Archival Sound Recordings are available for free to licensed UK higher and further education institutions and can be accessed from British Library reading rooms. In addition, where permission has been granted, these recordings can be listened to by the public online via the website.
Music clips range from the lament of the organic gardener in Gloucestershire to songs in praise of oxen sung by Karamojong herders in remote villages of north eastern Uganda, offering a glimpse of cultural experience around the world.
- Traditional music in England – ranging from rowdy pub sessions to the intimate settings of musicians’ homes and slickly produced radio programmes, this collection provides a unique insight into traditional English music, including popular ballads, children's skipping songs, music hall, soldiers' songs and folk tales
- Music in India – devotional songs, Vaishnava prayers, Buddhist ritual music and healing songs from remote rural areas of India, recorded as part of a collaborative project between ethnomusicologist Rolf Killius, the Horniman Museum and the British Library
- George Kingsley Roth Fiji Collection – recorded in the 1950s during Roth’s stint in the Fijian Colonial Administrative Service, this collection includes the sounds of dance gongs, stamping tubes, nose flutes and songs from the islands of Fiji and Tonga
- Decca West Africa Recordings – music recorded in Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and possibly Togo, encompassing a wide range of popular genres of the time including highlife, rumba, calypso, blues and early Nigerian jùjú as well as some more traditional performances.
JISC’s ongoing digitisation programme includes not only sound recordings, but also moving pictures, newspapers, maps, images, cartoons, census data, journals and parliamentary papers for use by the UK further and higher education communities.
Read more about JISC’s digitisation programme and about the Archival Sound Recordings project.
Listen to clips from the archive on the Archival Sound Recordings website