With more than two million of its six million authentic recordings at risk, The British Library has launched a £40 million campaign to digitize and preserve archived recordings. The immense collection, in various outdated formats, is in serious danger because of its deteriorating conditions.
Nearly half of the money, an estimated £18 million, is needed to digitally archive the current catalogue, while another £22 million will be set aside to archive future British recordings. The library is not stopping there, however. It is asking the UK public to turn over any valuable sound records they may have in possession, so that they too can also be saved.
The existing treasure trove of materials includes items of historical significance, including the voices of Florence Nightingale, Laurence Olivier, and a notable Boiler Room set recorded by artist Matthew Herbert.