Listening and Viewing Service

Listening and Viewing Service

With our Listening and Viewing Service you can access our extensive collection of recorded sound and video. The collection includes: music, wildlife, drama, literature, oral history and archived BBC Radio broadcasts.

British Library Sounds

Over 90,000 sound recordings have been digitised and are presented on British Library Sounds. A large number of the recordings are freely available for listening online, though some are restricted to users in accredited higher education establishments.

How to use the Listening and Viewing service

Over 200,000 digital tracks are available to Readers in our London and Yorkshire Reading Rooms via our Sound and Moving Image catalogue.

You can ask to listen to recordings not yet digitised. For some items you might need to make a listening appointment. If any essential preservation work needs to be undertaken there may be a delay of up to eight weeks.

Search the Sound and Moving Image catalogue to find the recording you want, make a note of the shelfmark and contact us with the details. You will find the shelfmark at the top of each entry in the catalogue:

Sound and Moving Image Catalogue record

Contact us

If you are unable to find the recording you want, contact the Sound & Vision Reference Team. Listening appointment times are:

Mon - Thurs: 10.00 – 20.00
Fri - Sat: 10.00 – 17.00.

You can book an appointment in person at the Enquiry Desk in the Rare Books and Music Reading Room, or contact the Sound & Vision Reference Team:

T: +44 (0)20 7412 7418
Email: Listening@bl.uk