“And we saw the thing had done a computation” – The modern computer turns 70

It’s been 70 years since the first successful run of the Manchester Baby, arguably the worlds first modern computer.

Recording of the week: Dennis Brutus

This week’s selection comes from Stephen Cleary, Lead Curator of Literary & Creative Recordings. In this archive recording from the African Writers Club collection, South African poet and anti-apartheid activist Dennis Brutus reads the introductory poem from his debut volume Sirens Knuckles Boots. At the time of the book’s publication…

International research collaboration on South Asian audiovisual heritage

In March this year the British Library began a new research project with the Archives and Research Center for Ethnomusicology American Institute of Indian Studies (ARCE) in India, focused around our South Asian audiovisual heritage collections. Funded through a grant from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the…

Recording of the week: a Mute Swan’s heart

This week’s selection comes from Greg Green, Audio Project Cataloguer for Unlocking our Sound Heritage. There are hundreds of thousands of recordings of birds in the sound archive, but not all are of the typical songs and calls we would expect. I have come across recordings of wingbeats (swans, pigeons,…

Make yourself at home! The BBC in a multi-cultural world

David Hendy writes about an upcoming event at the British Library, Britain Reimagined: A New Oral History of the BBC.