North West Sound Archive

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The North West Sound Archive was founded in 1979. Its purpose is to record, collect and preserve sound recordings relevant to life in the North West of England. After several homes in Manchester, the archive moved to Clitheroe in 1982.

While the tape recording of oral history is still an objective there are many other recordings worthy of preservation including local radio programmes and folk music. During the early years of BBC Radio Manchester many pioneering programmes were tried. While some were not successful, there was one series called Voice in the Crowd which have left a classic series of interviews. These recordings form part of the North West Sound Archive and are available for listening at the Greater Manchester County Record Office. Subjects include an interview with a Hells Angel, an American who lived in Manchester after the turn of the 20th century before returning home and a female soccer fan reminiscing about Manchester United and her feelings about the players who died in the Munich in 1958.

The North West Sound Archive provides source material and information for reminiscence therapy, local history, actors, the education sector (special packs are available for schools), journalists and researchers.

Venue Type:


Opening hours

By appt only Between 0900-1700

The North West Sound Archive has around 50,000 such recordings of BBC Radio Manchester as well as over 110,000 sound recorded items and 2.5 tonnes of 78-rpm gramophone records ranging from George Formby to the Halle Orchestra. There are internationally important collections including the survey of English dialect and solidarity speeches from the Dockyards of Poland. It is the largest collection of sound recordings outside London.

Collection details

Archives, Music, Social History, Sport

North West Sound Archive
Old Steward's Office
Castle Grounds
Clitheroe Castle




01200 427897


01200 427897

All information is drawn from or provided by the venues themselves and every effort is made to ensure it is correct. Please remember to double check opening hours with the venue concerned before making a special visit.