Wildlife sound recordings, currently stored on tapes, are being digitised for preservation and to enable better access.
Australian National Wildlife Collection Sound Archive
The Sound Archive at the Australian National Wildlife Collections is a library of wildlife sound recordings. It is the largest of its kind in Australia and amongst the largest in the world.
22 May 2008 | Updated 14 October 2011
The wildlife Sound Archive forms part of the Australian National Wildlife Collection (ANWC), and is the largest of its kind in Australia and amongst the largest in the world.
Besides providing valuable insights into taxonomy, the Sound Archive provides useful information about animal behaviour and evolution.
The CSIRO Wildlife Survey Section initiated the Sound Archive during the 1950s, as numerous researchers began to take a growing interest in sound recording work, primarily of Australian birds.
An extract from the first discography to be published by the National Film and Sound Archive states:
'The CSIRO collection of wildlife sounds represents today the largest and, except for private sources, the only library of wildlife sounds available for research in Australia.'
The Sound Archive
The Sound Archive has grown significantly since its inception, and now houses over 60 000 recordings covering:
The Sound Archive provides valuable insights into taxonomy, animal behaviour and evolution.
Whilst the bulk of the sound recordings within the Archive are from Australian birds, there is an excellent collection of material from New Guinea, Europe and North and South America.
The Sound Archive is currently undergoing a major overhaul, with our principal goal being to digitise all of the taped recordings that make up the Archive.
This will be no mean feat, and will require a considerable input of both time and money.
By digitising the Archive we aim to preserve invaluable material and prevent data loss due to the tapes degrading.
It will also facilitate access to the material within the Archive as we develop our database and provide online searching facilities as well as placing actual digitised sound recordings on the Web.
The donation of private collections of recorded material has greatly contributed to the excellent quality and high standard of the ANWC Sound Archive.
The Archive has gratefully received numerous donations of extensive and high quality sound recording data sets.
Many of these have been donated by:
How to contribute
Donating material to the Sound Archive not only ensures the recordings will be preserved, but also benefits future wildlife research by facilitating access to this highly valuable material.
We welcome recordings from professional and amateur groups of any type of animal (even natural ambient recordings).
Offers of material from all sources are most welcome.
Please contact the ANWC Sound Archive if you would like us to archive your recordings.
Some bird sound recordings are already available online from the Birds of the Australian National Wildlife Collection website.