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The British Library

The British Library’s experts will be archiving and storing broadcast conversations for future generations to hear.

Sounds at the British Library

Rob Perks, Lead Curator of Oral History at the British Library: "The Listening Project is building into a fascinating archive of insights into contemporary Britain: people of all ages from every corner of the nation have taken part and share what they think about their lives and loves, enthusiasms and disappointments, successes and failures.

"In our busy world, the project has offered a chance to pause and reflect, and create a permanent record for the future. By curating and archiving The Listening Project recordings, the British Library is making them available in perpetuity for the public and researchers to listen to and access for generations to come, an invaluable part of our oral history collections."

The British Library is archiving all the full conversations from which the shorter broadcasts are drawn. You can already listen to hundreds of the full recordings online at (note that there can be a delay of up to a year before they go live).

The Listening Project conversations join the Library’s collection of 4 million sounds, which range from music, drama and literature, to wildlife recordings and oral history. The British Library holds one of the world’s most extensive oral history collections in its sound archive. From 1950s interviews with East Anglian farm workers to 1970s recordings of children talking about their playground games, the archive offers us fascinating insights into history - through the words of those who experienced it.

You can find more information about the Library’s sound collections at