Sounds, podcasts, oral histories and audio recordings from Bristol’s collections

Meet Bristol as you never have before. Listen to over 60 years of Bristolian life.

The Listening Room is a place to explore. It’s your gateway to the amazing audio collections held at Bristol Museums and Archives. Over 60 years of Bristol stories are here – unique, rare, fascinating voices sharing Bristol’s history first hand. There are interviews with local people, music, drama, wildlife sounds; these all make up our shared past.

You can hear excerpts from our audio collections and browse their catalogues. Want to hear more? The excerpts are just a taster. To listen to entire recordings, contact us and we’ll arrange for to listen at one of our sites.

About the Listening Room

Many of these collections were digitised by Unlocking Our Sound Heritage (UOSH). UOSH was a British Library-led, National Lottery Heritage Fund-supported national project to save our nation’s sounds. 

The UOSH sound room at Bristol Archives digitised audio collections from all over south west England. UOSH was an important start to addressing an urgent need; experts estimate that there are fewer than 12 years to preserve audio archives. 

Old audio is recorded on materials that are starting to decay. The equipment to play back older formats is rapidly disappearing or becoming unfixable. Digitisation is the solution to preserving, for the future, these engaging and important testimonies of our past.