MUST DO: The Story of Sound, British Library

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An immersive exhibition ploughs through the British Library’s sound archive


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British Library Story of Sound
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The perfect diversion before jumping on the next train is this free exhibition, a rare chance to dive into the British Library’s sound archive.

Kicking off when the phonograph was invented way back in 1877, it tells the story of how radio transformed society in the 20th century, and how the way we listen has changed as new technologies emerge and old ones become obsolete.

The exhibition is immersive, too: you can step into your own listening booth to hear rare and unpublished recordings, view the Library’s collection of players and recorders, and check out a certain 16-year-old Alfred Taylor, whose ‘Wireless Log’ from 1922 can be compared to a modern-day vlog.

If you happen to visit on a Friday evening (5-6pm) you might even be transported to a rainforest or experience rare recordings for the first time, played through the awes Bowers & Wilkins Sound System.

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Free entry, until 13th May, open 9:30am-8pm (6pm Friday, 5pm weekends). 140 Years of Sound, Entrance Hall, British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1

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