The BBC Sound Archive

The BBC Sound Archive

An interview with Simon Rooks, BBC Sound Archivist

Simon Rooks, BBC Sound Archivist, explains why recording programmes was originally frowned on and what happened to make attitudes change.


What sort of recordings did the early archivists keep?

They do reflect quite a range of different kind of recordings. There are the great and the good - the Churchills, the Chamberlains, Nancy Astor, the first woman MP to take her seat - so all kind of eminent people that you might expect. But also the early archivists did recognise the value and importance of keeping the experiences of ordinary people, the jobs ordinary people had. And certainly, once the war had started, there are recordings of people describing how they were bombed out of their homes. There's definite recognition that these voices and experiences would be important for future generations.

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