Bathroom

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.

View Video
small rectangles on a blue background

Hygiene and Grooming

Article by:
Mary Stewart, Holly Gilbert, British Library Learning

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.

Read more
small rectangles arranged on a blue background

Reflections on self

Article by:
Mary Stewart, Holly Gilbert, British Library Learning

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.

Read more
small rectangles on a blue background

Toilet humour and taboos

Article by:
Mary Stewart, Holly Gilbert, British Library Learning

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