Open your ears, draw back the curtains and peek into domestic life as you may never have heard it before.

Explore the sounds of the home

  • Screenshot from The Bathroom animation. Person is looking in a mirror, holding a grey hair from their head.

    The Bathroom

    Beyond the sound of a flushing toilet or the gentle drip of a leaky tap, have you ever thought about the bathroom as a place of reflection and of personal experience? Inspired by the collections in our sound archive, this animation, produced in collaboration with students from the London College of Communication, explores the soundscapes of daily life.

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    Hygiene and Grooming

    The bathroom is a place for maintaining personal hygiene and practising self-care and, for some, it is a place to sing. Listen to the sounds of bathing, learn the meaning of 'wibbles' and hear a vivid description about sharing a tin bath.

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    Reflections on self

    For some, the bathroom might be a place to spend hours at a time looking in the mirror, trying to work out how to present yourself to the outside world. It can also be the place to consider the changes that we undergo throughout our lives. Listen to the experiences of different people at different stages in their lives as they explore the topics of appearance, growing up and ageing.

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    Toilet humour and taboos

    The smells, noises and sounds that emit from behind the bathroom door have long inspired jokes and comedic songs. Open up this private space to listen to accounts of emptying the long drop, and discover why three ladies got stuck in the lavatory.

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  • Screenshot from The Garden animation. A cartoon bunny rabbit holds a plant pot in from of a greenhouse

    The Garden

    Gardens are filled with all types of noises, from the terrifying screech of foxes to the laughter of playing children. Have you ever thought about the sounds of the outside world that drift into our homes? Inspired by the collections in our sound archive, this animation, produced in collaboration with students from the London College of Communication, explores the soundscapes of daily life.

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    Different gardens

    It’s healthy for everyone to get outdoors, to stretch their legs and to take a breath of fresh air. As not everyone has their own garden space, explore different ways that people have made the outdoors an extension of their homes, and discover the activities that happen there.

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    Sustainable gardens

    Explore how gardens can be used productively to grow edible plants and vegetables for people and animals. We hear how gardening increases sustainability and self-sufficiency for gardeners, and helps in the global fight against climate change.

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    Listening to nature

    Are you awoken at dawn by a chorus of birds? In towns and cities it may instead be the screeches of foxes in the night. Explore both familiar and unusual wildlife sounds from the garden, and appreciate how musicans have responded to these.

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  • Screenshot from The Kitchen animation where a woman in a dress sits on a stool kneading bread in a bowl

    The Kitchen

    Though we are aware of the food, drink and smells that come out of the kitchen, how many of us pause to consider the noises that emanate from it? Inspired by the collections in our sound archive, this animation, produced in collaboration with students from the London College of Communication, explores the soundscapes of daily life.

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    Changing spaces

    From the bare basics to the luxury of convenience, the kitchen today is dramatically different to what it was 100 years ago. Discover how the scullery, the larder and the pantry have moulded into the kitchens of the 21st-century.

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    Ritual and recipes

    What links a cup of tea, the churning of butter and chicken curry? Explore how rituals, recipes and traditions have shaped how our kitchens are used.

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    Technology and gender

    Historically, women have disproportionately taken responsibility for household chores. We consider whether the leaps in technological advances over time have broken or worked to reinforce gender stereotypes.

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  • Screenshot of The Living Room animation. A line drawing of a man in a chair facing away from a television set

    The Living Room

    The living room has many different functions, from play, to entertaining and relaxation. Press your ear against the door and listen to some of the sounds and memories of this space. Inspired by the collections in our sound archive, this animation, produced in collaboration with students from the London College of Communication, explores the soundscapes of daily life.

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    A communal space

    The living room can be a central place for play, entertainment and music. Discover the meaning behind ‘tranklements’, the excitement of new radios and televisions, as well as how living rooms can be transformed into extra-terrestrial worlds.

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    Welcoming in the outside world

    Discover how the front room has been used over the last century as a space to host family gatherings, to formally receive guests, for sombre funeral traditionals and keep up to date on the latest news.

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    Music and performance

    What music, rhythm or beats fill your home? Uncover how different people practise playing instruments, enjoy music with the people they live with and use the front room as a space for performance

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Articles

small rectangles on a coloured background

Ritual and recipes

What links a cup of tea, the churning of butter and chicken curry? Explore how rituals, recipes and traditions have shaped how our kitchens are used.

Read more
small rectangles on a coloured background

A communal space

The living room can be a central place for play, entertainment and music. Discover the meaning behind ‘tranklements’, the excitement of new radios and televisions, as well as how living rooms can be transformed into extra-terrestrial worlds.

Read more
small rectangles on a blue background

Toilet humour and taboos

The smells, noises and sounds that emit from behind the bathroom door have long inspired jokes and comedic songs. Open up this private space to listen to accounts of emptying the long drop, and discover why three ladies got stuck in the lavatory.

Read more
small rectangles on a green background

Sustainable gardens

Explore how gardens can be used productively to grow edible plants and vegetables for people and animals. We hear how gardening increases sustainability and self-sufficiency for gardeners, and helps in the global fight against climate change.

Read more
image of small rectangular images on a purple background

Bedtime routines

Routines at bedtime can help lull you to sleep; turning off the lights, listening to a story, cuddling a toy. Explore some of different bedtime rituals created by people at home, at school and in some unexpected places.

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