Over a century of noise lives on in the vast collection of the British Library’s sound archives.
There’s the slightly high voice of James Joyce, reading an excerpt from Ulysses. A warbling recording captures Lord Tennyson reciting a poem. J.R.R. Tolkien has a short conversation with a tobacconist. There’s hours of testimony from WWI soldiers. The national archive of music lives there too, as do hundreds of recordings of nature, the sounds of industry, the oral histories and decades of theatrical performances.