Europeana Sounds: A gateway to Europe’s sound and music heritage

(27 March 2014)  The Europeana Sounds project was launched on 1 February 2014. This three-year project, co-funded by the European Commission, will give online access to a critical mass of audiovisual digital-objects by January 2017. Over 540,000 high quality sound recordings will be available via Europeana, from classical and folk music, to environmental sounds from the natural world as well as oral memories.

The project, coordinated by the British Library, is a partnership among 24 national libraries, sound institutions, research centres, and universities from 12 European countries.

The sounds selected for this project embrace the breadth of Europe’s cultural heritage : classical music and contemporary performances with timeless and universal appeal ; traditional and folk music and storytelling ; sound effects, environmental sounds and noises from the natural world; languages, accents and dialects and oral recollections, all with a particular resonance in different regions. Together these collections reflect the diverse cultures, histories, languages and creativity of the peoples of Europe over the past 130 years.

Europeana Sounds means that for the first time world-leading heritage institutions with outstanding audio collections are getting together to enhance access to early materials and share expertise and skills. Through TV, radio, online channels and cinema, audio visual materials today make up the soundtrack to our daily lives, and have done for decades – but are some of the most overlooked when it comes to preserving our cultural heritage.

Read the press release here.