Previous posts have focused mainly on text- and image-based resources. This installment will highlight audio, specifically free resources available on the Internet. Here are a few:
The British Library’s public collections include field recordings of natural and urban soundscapes, music from around the world, a survey of English dialects, early spoken word recordings, as well as historical information on sound reproduction technology.
Xeno-Canto hosts an archive of bird sounds from across the globe and makes good use of Google Maps in its search and information display interfaces.
London Sound Survey is a nice example of how audio can contribute to an overall picture of a geographical place and its culture and history over time.
The Freesound Project is a collaborative database of Creative Commons licensed sounds (focusing only on sounds, not songs).
Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal music downloads directed by New Jersey’s freeform radio station WFMU.
This is just a small sample of what’s out there. Now it’s up to you to decide how audio could enhance your research, project or presentation. Here’s some inspiration: http://tenement.org/folksongs/client/
Written by Zeke Graves