Directory of British and Irish Sound Archives

A new service launched in May 2014 and maintained by BISA, the Directory of British and Irish Sound Archives contains collection descriptions, information on access arrangements and contact details for sound collections held within the British Isles.

You can find collections in the Directory by:

  • browsing an interactive Map view.
  • browsing the Table view. This is sortable by collection name, location etc.
  • searching. First enter a term in the Search box on the left and press the search button to see all results. Then user the Advanced Search option to narrow your search to the type: 'Directory Entry'.

If you have any feedback, corrections or queries about an individual entry, BISA members can contact the contributing member directly. If you are not a BISA member or have any feedback on the Directory itself, please contact us.

The Directory follows the International Council on Archives standard International Standard for Describing Institutions with Archival Holdings (London, 2008).


Is your sound collection not listed / not on the map?

Staff at sound archives or individuals who own private collections are responsible for completing and updating their own entries. This service is provided for free, and you do not need to be a BISA member to add a Directory entry. It takes just a few minutes via a simple online form to see your archive featured in the Directory. The location of your collection is mapped automatically.

You may add your information to this Directory directly. You need to be logged into this website to create a new entry yourself. If you do not have a login account on this site, first apply by selecting the Create New Account link on the Login page. You will be sent an email with a user name and password allowing you to log in to the site. You may then return to this page and add your entry.

Alternatively, just email details via the Contact form on this site.

New entries appear immediately on the map and table views. It can take a few hours for new entries to appear in text search results.


Do you know of other collections that should be in the Directory?

The list of entries is a tiny proportion of what exists. In 1989 the British Library published the Directory of Recorded Sound Resources in the United Kingdom, edited by Lali Weerasinghe and Jeremy Silver. Long out of print and outdated, it listed 489 public and private sound collections throughout the UK. Although some collections since that time will have either been lost or merged, there are a large number of new collections that remain relatively unknown. Help to make this Directory comprehensive: if you know of a collection that should be listed, please contact us.

The Directory includes, with permission, information on collections collated by the British Library for the UK Sound Directory, an audit of the UK's sound heritage conducted in 2015.

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