In 2019, the British Library in London launched the Save Our Sounds campaign. Archivists around the world believe there are approximately 15 years left before certain obsolete forms of recording technology will forever be lost to us–both because of the physical degradation of the recordings themselves, but also because the mechanisms upon which we can play these recordings disappear from production.
In Shattered, we listen to and examine several different types of “obsolete” recording technology, from cylinder recordings to gramophone discs. The stories they have to tell will prove nothing short of remarkable. So it’s important that all types of sound recording technology are preserved for future generations.
Although the Save Our Sounds campaign is based in the UK and is therefore mainly concerned with the British nation’s sound heritage, it’s a lesson for us all. We can’t allow these treasures to be lost to us forever. Shattered is a story about historical sound recordings and therefore takes sound recording preservation seriously.
The British Library Sounds website includes an impressive array of freely available sounds to listen to. The most recent post on their Sound and vision blog has been timely, discussing Auschwitz on International Holocaust Memorial Day on 27 January 2021.