07 February 2013


From Cornell University ~ "After 12 years of work, Cornell's Macaulay Library archive, the largest collection of wildlife sounds in the world, is not digitized and fully available online.

" .... All archived analog recordings in the collection, going back to 1929, have and can be heard for free online.  The collection contains nearly 150,000 digital audio recordings equaling more than 10 terabytes of data with a total run time of 7,513 hours.  About 9000 species are represented.  There's an emphasis on birds, but the collection also includes sounds of whales, elephants, frogs, primates, and more."

When you click on the above link, it will take you directly to the library's archive, which enjoys close ties with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.  If you have a particular species in mind, you can perform a search at the top of the page ~ which will yield video, audio, or both.  Or you can scroll down to browse by taxonomy, take an audio quiz, or check out library news.  Spoiler ~ in Spring 2013 the Cornell Lab of Ornithology will release its downloadable guide to North American birds sounds.  All for Free.

This is only the latest development in the availability of free information online, reinforcing my belief that the Internet is a world library.  Another prime example is the increasing number of university classes offered for free online, often for university credit.  An expanding community of prestigious universities sponsor the classes, available directly from each university or from an umbrella organization like Coursera.

As a teaser to introduce you to Cornell's archive, here is the sound of one of my favorite birds, the Canyon Wren (see image above, click to enlarge ~ photo credit Nick Athanas).

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