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Using the Sound and Moving Image catalogue

The catalogue includes entries for three-and-a-half million recordings held in the British Library and is updated daily. It is one of the largest catalogues of its kind anywhere in the world, covering both published and unpublished recordings in all genres from pop, jazz, classical and world music, to oral history, drama and literature, dialect, language and wildlife sounds.

The Sound and Moving Image catalogue can be used to confirm the existence of recordings and compile lists and discographies.

On-screen HELP is available at every stage of a search.

At present there are only a few sounds available for online listening. In order to find recordings available online, the catalogue should be searched using the term 'virtual nsa'.

The catalogue provides the information required both to make a listening appointment with the British Library's Listening and Viewing Service and to place orders for copies of recordings with the Transcription Service (please be aware of the charges and the copyright restrictions that apply to this service).

The catalogue does not contain data about every single recording in the collection and some subject areas are better represented than others. Users can contact the Sound Archive Information Service if clarification or help with finding a particular recording is needed.

A selection of BBC Sound Archive material is held in the British Library and included in the catalogue but there is no general access to data on BBC radio collections. If an enquiry concerns a BBC radio programme that does not appear in the catalogue, the British Library should be contacted.

Please note that this catalogue is based on available information and the British Library accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of the data displayed. You will find there are some inconsistencies in the data. These have arisen because catalogue records have been compiled from a wide range of earlier and external sources. That being so, the British Library gratefully acknowledges the ongoing supply of data by Muze Europe Ltd and the earlier contributions by National Discography Ltd and the BBC Gramophone Library in helping to expand the coverage of its catalogue.

Further information

Sound & Vision Reference Service
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London
NW1 2DB
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7831
Fax: +44 (0)20 7412 7691

E-mail: Ask the Reference Team