Audio Archives

Ubu Web Sound

Person Describing Archive

Celyn Harding Jones , Jared Wiercinski (2010); Chelsea Obodoechina (2020)

Is this primarily a poetry audio site?


Sponsoring Person or Institution

Kenneth Goldsmith: Interesting to note that there are no academic institutions sponsoring (monetarily) so Ubuweb continues to be 'autonomous'. However, listed "Partners" include: WFMU, PennSound, The Center for Literary Computing at West Virginia University, Artmob, Continuo, Electra, Roulette, SoundEye. NO money has been donated or invested in the site other than Kenny's 50$/month web hosting fee.

Site URL

Site Last Updated
Date Visited


General Description of Archive

This is the collection called "UbuWEB: Sound" of UBUWEB. It is essentially a massive list of authors, events, genres, groups, journals, themes, etc in alphabetical order.

Description of archive history or URL

Founded in November 1996, as a repository for visual, concrete and later, sound poetry by Kenneth Goldsmith.

Contact information

Kenneth Goldsmith, Jeremy Fisher, (Managing Editor) and Margaret Smith (Archivist).

Searchable options

NONE! search options on main page will show sound, but there is no search option to only browse audio.

Relation from the audio to the text

None. (I haven't checked all of the recordings, but it seems that most of them do not have any transcriptions).

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

When available, date, location and context for the recording are made available. Readings with several poems are divided by poem, or into parts. Source of the recording are also made available, (eg, from a vinyl record, etc).

Author bios and context within literary history

Not usually given. Sometimes, when a text accompanies the recording (eg. Notes made by a curator of the audio material) that text is copied here. "Related Resources" are online resources available about the Author (eg. wikipedia, other ubuweb pages).

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

streaming, available for download (free) and mp3

Multimedia integration (pictures, video, etc.)

Webpages are minimal in design, as there is often a lot of information and text, so no pictures or icons are shown.

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

Opens in a new, black screen.

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

The UbuWeb site (including Ubu Sound) is not optimized for mobile viewing. The site's use of Flash prevents some aspects of playback on Apple mobile devices (which do not support Flash). UbuWeb does offer MP3's for download, which do playback on Apple mobile devices.


Browsing is okay, because there is a long list of potential search possibilities (authors and themes, etc), however there are no searchable options within the sound catalogue.

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

Low interactivity on this site other than websurfing. Integration of Delicious bookmarking and tagging.

Other notes

On October 12th, the site was closed due to hacking. Reopened around October 18th, Kenny wrote an Open Letter in response to a thread discussing copyright issues on Freameworks. Link to UbuWeb's policies are here: