Swansea University

SAWD at the British Library

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In February 2008, Robert Penhallurick deposited copies of all the SAWD and SAWD-related audio recordings at the British Library Sound Archive.  Most of the recordings are of interviews with informants providing responses to the SAWD Questionnaire or the later New Phonological and Urban Dialect Questionnaires, but several also contain lengthy passages of spontaneous speech.

The collection contains recordings from the mid-1960s to the early 1990s and includes the following:

  • recordings made for SAWD by student fieldworkers;
  • a small set of recordings made by David Parry, Stanley Ellis and others in support of SAWD fieldwork;
  • a complete set of audio recordings made by Robert Penhallurick for his research for SAWD in North Wales;
  • recordings made by Ceri George for her SAWD-related research in the Rhondda, South Wales;
  • material collected in Cardiff, Caernarfon, Wrexham, Carmarthen, and Swansea for the second, urban phase of SAWD.

Details of the SAWD recordings are available on the British Library Sound Archive online catalogue and the collection is available to researchers and to the general public via the Listening and Viewing service. A small set of audio extracts from the SAWD recordings are available online on the BL’s Accents and Dialects website, Sounds Familiar.

Other BL linguistic collections
Researchers interested in similar material can access the British Library’s other internationally renowned linguistic holdings including:

  • The Berliner Lautarchiv British and Commonwealth Recordings (recorded between 1916 and 1918 and available from late 2008)
  • The Survey of English Dialects (dated between 1933 and 1974, including a small set of recordings from Monmouthshire)
  • BBC Voices (recorded in 2005 and including a number of interviews recorded by BBC Radio Wales)
  • The British National Corpus (recorded in the early 1990s)
  • A wealth of material recorded in Wales can also be found in the Oral History collections, notably in the Millennium Memory Bank (recorded in 1998/9).

For more information on these collections, access the British Library Sound Archive or contact linguistics@bl.uk.

[This page written by Jonnie Robinson
Lead Content Specialist: Sociolinguistics & Education
Social Sciences Collections & Research
The British Library]



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