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The sound of Europe! Europeana Sounds - the digital memory of music and sound recordings


The purpose of the Europeana Sounds project was to facilitate access to Europe's rich and diverse audio heritage and to make a large number of sound documents available for the first time online. The project was part of the expansion of Europeana, Europe's digital cultural memory. Europeana Sounds gathered together sound recordings of contemporary, traditional and classical music, languages and dialects, oral memory and the natural world.


  • More than 600,000 audio files and 300,000 additional resources have been made accessible to Europeana.
  • Europeana Music saw the development of a thematic portal that provides curated access to these materials.
  • Europeana Sounds Policy Recommendations: The project work opened up further aspects in the copyright discussion at the European level and put forward appropriate regulatory proposals.
  • Europeana users were invited to contribute to the cataloguing of the materials through various crowdsourcing campaigns.
  • Europeana Radio provides randomised access to 200,000 pieces of music in Europeana.
  • A task force was established within the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA) aimed at further strengthening the links between the project partners after the end of the project.

Project partners

7 national libraries:
  • British Library (coordinator) 
  • Bibliothèque nationale de France  
  • Deutsche Nationalbibliothek  
  • National Library of Latvia  
  • Österreichische Mediathek  
  • Dansk Statsbiblioteket  
  • Österreichische Nationalbibliothek 
5 archives and research centres:
  • Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision  
  • Irish Traditional Music Archive  
  • The Language Archive at MPI-PL  
  • Austrian Institute of Technology  
  • Centre national de la Recherche scientifique  
2 other public institutions:
  • Central Institute for the Union Catalogue of Italian libraries  
  • Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg  
4 non-profit organisations:
  • Kennisland
  • Europeana
  • Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann
  • Music Library of Greece and of the Friends of Music Society
3 universities:
  • National Technical University of Athens
  • Sabhal Mòr Ostaig
  • Institute of Contemporary History – Universidade Nova Lisboa
3 companies:
  • NET7 SRL, Pisa
  • We Are What We Do, London 
  • DIZI, Vilnius


European Commission Information and Communication Technologies policy (ICT) support programme, as part of the "Entrepreneurship and Innovation" programme (EIP)

Project coordinator

The British Library

Project duration

1 February 2014 - 31 January 2017 (36 months)

Total costs

EUR 6.14 million (EUR 4.91 million EU contribution)

Project homepage

Last update: 16.03.2017

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