Let the People speak: Sound Linking in the Oxford DNB
As part of the January 2016 update we added links from 750 biographies to archive sound recordings held by the British Library and the BBC.
From the British Library are links to 70 early spoken word recordings (from the 1880s to 1940s); 65 oral history recordings for prominent modern actors, architects and scientists; and 30 musical recordings by notable conductors and musicians.
From the BBC, we’ve links to 500 episodes of Radio 4’s ‘Desert Island Discs’ (1947 to 2010) in which people in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford DNB) told their own life stories. In addition, 75 Oxford DNB biographies now link to a corresponding episode of Radio 4’s ‘In Our Time’.
In each case, links to sound recordings appear on the left-hand side, and at the bottom of an Oxford DNB biography, under ‘External resources’.
For information about the Oxford DNB, including its history and how often it’s updated, please visit our About page.
1. British Library: early spoken word
- Christabel Pankhurst, 'Suffrage for women' (1908)
- David Lloyd George, 'The budget' (1909)
- Margaret Bondfield, 'Women vote Labour' (1929)
- Arthur Conan Doyle, 'Writing Sherlock Holmes' (1930)
- George V, 'Christmas message' (1932)
- Amy Johnson, 'My story of flight' (1930)
- Xavier Boulestin, 'Making an omelette' (1932)
- Mahatma Gandhi, 'Message to the world' (nd)
2. British Library: classical music
- Albert Sammons, violin, plays Tchaikovsky (1915)
- Henry Wood, conducts Bach (1930)
- Dennis Brain, horn, plays Bach (1941)
- Myra Hess, piano, plays Mozart (1953)
- Malcolm Sargent, conducts Beethoven (nd)
- Albert Semprini, piano, plays Chopin (1955)
3. British Library: oral histories
- Colin St John Wilson, on building the British Library
- Maurice Wilkins, on discovering DNA
- Harold Pinter, on the theatre
4. BBC: Desert Island Discs
- Ian Fleming, (1963)
- Daphne Du Maurier, (1977)
- Jacqueline Du Pré, (1977)
- Roald Dahl, (1979)
- Malcolm Bradbury, (1983)
- Anita Roddick, (1988)
- John Peel, (1990)
- Ian Dury, (2000)
- Beryl Bainbridge, (2008)
5. BBC: In Our Time
- Julius Caesar
- Thomas Hobbes
- Benjamin Franklin
- Mary Wollstonecraft
- Ada Lovelace
- Virginia Woolf
Jean Metcalfe (1923–2000): by unknown photographer, 1943. Getty Images
Amy Johnson (1903–1941): by John Capstack, c. 1933–5. © Capstack Portrait Archive; collection National Portrait Gallery, London.
(Fernando Riccardo) Alberto Semprini (1908–1990): by unknown photographer. Camera PressM, London.
Harold Pinter (1930–2008): by Justin Mortimer, 1992. © National Portrait Gallery, London.
Dame Anita Lucia Roddick (1942–2007): by Gareth Davies, 2002. Getty Images.
Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790): by Joseph Siffred Duplessis, 1778. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Friedsam Collection, Bequest of Michael Friedsam, 1931. (32.100.132) Photograph © 1981 The Metropolitan Museum of Art.