Audio Archives


Person Describing Archive

Celyn Harding Jones (2010) ; Chelsea Obodoechina (2020)

Is this primarily a poetry audio site?


Sponsoring Person or Institution

Not-for-profit group began it, now sponsored by the Alexa Internet, HP Computer, The Kahle/Austin Foundation, Prelinger Archives, National Science Foundation, Library of Congress (US), LizardTech, Sloan Foundation and individual contributors.

Site URL

Site Last Updated
Date Visited


General Description of Archive

The Internet Archive is a collection (or digital library) of Internet sites and other "cultural artifacts in digital form". They provide free access to over 150 billion webpages that no longer exist, as well as hundreds of thousands of "Moving Images", "Live Music" files, "Audio" recordings and "Texts". They state that they aim to function like a library, focused on researchers, historians, scholars and the general public. There are several sub-collections under every file type (for example, the Audio Books and Poetry sub-category of the Audio files collection is perhaps more relevant to our work). There are then Sub-collections under Audio-Books and Poetry (LibriVox, Gutenberg Audio Books, Maria Lectrix Audio Books, Audio Poetry, Naropa Poetics Audio Archive, Au Ful des lectures, and Globe Radio Repertory). *I will make separate entries for Audio Poetry and Naropa Poetics websites as they function differently.

Description of archive history or URL

Founded in 1996 in San Francisco, to build an "Internet Library" as they found a digital library was needed to archive and preserve films, audio, tv, websites and digital books. They have an interesting manifesto about the future of libraries here:

Contact information; Internet Archive, 300 Funston Ave, San Francisco, Ca, 94118

Searchable options

One main search bar is available to type in any keyword, and then choose Media Type. An advanced search provides keyword search for Title, Creator, Description, Collection, Mediatype, Date, Date range plus several custom fields. Each collection, however, has their own search options as they link to other online archives.

Relation from the audio to the text

Not really applicable, as there are many different collections that have different types of text/audio relationships. Please see following research listings for individual archive results.

Date/Time/Length/Context info about the audio items

Please see following entries for individual archive information

Author bios and context within literary history

Please see following entries for individual archive information

Audio file type: streaming, download, file format, audio file compression quality (WAV, MP3, bitrate)

Please see following entries for individual archive information

Multimedia integration (pictures, video, etc.)

Please see following entries for individual archive information

Audio playback setup (opens in Flash player, on new blank screen, etc.)

Please see following entries for individual archive information

Mobile access (i.e. accessible on smart phones, tablets, etc.)



Browsing on this site is great-- It seems well organized (there are millions of files archived here) under Media Types, and because the files and links are organized under subcategories you can keep clicking on new archives to browse easily. There are also many ways to Browse by Artist, Title, Subject/Keyword as well as by All Items. It seems that one could spend their entire life on this site and never find everything in this archive!

Discovery features (pre-made playlists; dynamic lists: lists of recent additions, featured items, related items, etc).
Interactivity and Web 2.0 features

Interactivity is high on this site, as it fully embraces the interactivity that the internet provides. A user can sign in and create their own account where you can create and upload a new movie, audio recording, live concert recording or book. You can also Bookmark items. There are also forums and users can add posts.

Other notes

There is the possibility of looking into adding our archive to this site for higher access and wider viewership. Please see next two entries for "Naropa Poetics" and "Audio Poetry" for more details about archives found on this site.