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Archive Pioneers | Saviours of sound at the BBC

About this collection

The BBC was nearly ten years old when it installed its first recording machine, but tapes and discs soon began to pile up in Broadcasting House.

Through broadcasts, internal BBC interviews and recordings never before released in full, some of the BBC's archive pioneers explain how - and why - they set about collecting, selecting and organising voices and sounds in the 1930s and 40s. The department was variously named over the years, as its role in preserving the BBC's output grew and evolved, but today it is best known as the BBC Sound Archive.

Archive Pioneers Collection

Lynton Fletcher.

Foyles Literary Luncheon

The BBC Recorded Programmes Department

RECORDED 1941
37 MINUTES

Lynton Fletcher shows off the BBC Sound Library to a literary audience.

Lynton Fletcher.

You Have Been Listening to a Recording

Part 3

BROADCAST 1942
17 MINUTES

Lynton Fletcher and Marie Slocombe on the BBC's growing collection of historic recordings.

Marie Slocombe, BBC Archives 1937 to 1972.

Marie Slocombe

Sound Archives Librarian 1937-1972

RECORDED 1986
72 MINUTES

In conversation with the first BBC Sound Archive librarian.

A BBC sound engineer.

Arthur Phillips

BBC Memories 1929-1974

RECORDED 1987
61 MINUTES

From page boy to chief producer over 45 years at the BBC.

Marie Slocombe.

Archive Hour

Marie Slocombe and the BBC Sound Archive

BROADCAST 2007
57 MINUTES

The story of the temp who started the BBC Sound Archive.

Ludwig Koch.

Ludwig Koch and the Music of Nature

BROADCAST 2009
28 MINUTES

How a boyhood hobby led to pioneering recordings of the natural world.

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