5 Sep 2009

Music from British Library now online

9:03 am on 5 September 2009

The British Library is putting 28,000 rare recordings of music online. They are from every continent in the world and represent a fraction of the library's audio archives.

The 2000 hours of material ranges from a rendition of Any Old Iron in Birmingham to recordings of African rumba, calypso and blues and performances by Ugandan royal musicians.

Other material includes popular ballads, children's skipping songs, music hall ballads, soldiers' songs and folk tales.

The BBC reports the oldest recording is from 1898.

Many have been collecting dust for years under people's beds and in their attics.

The British Library Sound Archive is one of the largest sound archives in the world: it holds over one million discs and 200,000 tapes.