27 October 2020

Basement Tapes Day

Have you got a precious recording that you can no longer listen to?

Like a voice from the past – a toddler singing, an elder reminiscing – or maybe your first teenage band? Something you haven’t heard in ages because you can’t play it anymore?

We can help!

Basement Tapes Day gives you an opportunity to listen again to a precious old non-commercial recording you can no longer hear. Maybe it’s on cassette and your cassette player broke a long time ago. Maybe it’s an old audio reel you found in the attic and have never heard.

Book a listening session below, bring your recording with you to Bristol Archives, and the Unlocking Our Sound Heritage (UOSH) team will play it for you.

In addition, they can give you advice on how to care for and preserve your recording. Bring your phone so you can record it as it plays!

Not sure? If you have any questions about booking for this event please contact Katie Scaife, UOSH project manager, at [email protected].

Please read the information below carefully before booking.

You can bring in ONE recording. Formats we can play are:

    • ¼“ open reel tapes
    • Compact cassettes
    • Mini cassettes
    • DATs
    • Minidiscs
    • CDs and CD-Rs

Our Covid measures:

  • You must book a session to participate.
  • Appointments have a strict 45 minute time limit to enable cleaning time between sessions. We cannot guarantee you’ll be able to listen to the whole recording but we’ll do our best to give you as much listening time as possible.
  • To minimise crowding, please do not arrive early for your appointment (or late!).
  • If you are arriving by car, please see our Getting Here section for guidance on parking. If you need to come on public transport please follow all Covid guidelines.
  • You’ll be asked to wash your hands on arrival and departure.
  • The UOSH team will clean your item before handling it and before returning it to you.
  • You must wear a face covering to your session.
  • Only two people are allowed in a listening session at a time; you and the audio engineer. If you need to bring someone with you to attend, please let us know in advance on the form.
  • Please bring your own headphones if you don’t want to listen to your recording through speakers. Headphones allow more privacy.
  • If you do not comply with our Covid safety measures, our staff reserve the right to cancel your booking.

Unlocking Our Sound Heritage is a national project led by the British Library and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Find out more about the project. 

Image: © iadMedia/Abel Márquez