Sound and vision blog

Sound and moving images from the British Library

25 January 2024

Sound and Vision update

Image of a reel on a white background
The British Library is continuing to experience disruption following a cyber-attack. As with other departments, access to the sound archive’s resources, and the services we are able to offer, have been affected. Most online systems, such as the Sound and Moving Image catalogue and the Sounds website, are currently unavailable. At present, we do not have any information that suggests material archived in the sound archive has been affected.

Teams across the Library are working hard to restore our systems and services and we will be making regular updates on our recovery via our temporary website, the Knowledge Matters blog and our social media channels. Please follow @BritishLibrary for updates. 

The Library buildings are still open as usual, and Wi-Fi is now available again at both sites. The Sound and Vision Reference Team are open for your enquiries, but are not currently able to offer any access to our material through the Listening and Viewing service. Please use the email address given at the foot of this post. 

What is currently available? 

Visitors to our London site may enjoy the Sound Gallery on the Lower Ground Floor. This resource features a range of recordings drawn from all areas of the sound archive, including music, poetry and prose, oral history, accents and dialects, and animal sounds and natural environments. 

Our SoundCloud account is still live and features a selection of 1000+ spoken word, wildlife and music recordings including our podcast series ‘Classical Music at the British Library’. 

The British Library Sound Archive programmes archived on the website of online radio NTS feature hundreds of wildlife and world and traditional music sound recordings from our collection.

The True Echoes web site showcases the recordings and research undertaken between 2019 and 2022 for the True Echoes research project. This project sought to reconnect a rich archive of early sound recordings of Oceanic cultures with the communities from which they originate. 

Contacting us 

You can contact us by emailing [email protected]. We’ll do our best to answer your queries but please bear with us. This inbox is reviewed from 08.30 to 16.30 Monday to Friday. We’re experiencing a high volume of enquiries so it may take us some time to respond. We’ll get back to you as quickly as we can. 

We would like to thank all our friends, users and partners for your continued patience and understanding.