Research Library

Museum of Portable Sound Research Library logo

Origins of the Research Library

As Seen In A PhD

Our museum’s collections were born out of the research process. In fact, the Museum of Portable Sound (MOPS) was originally established as a creative research tool to investigate whether it was possible to operate a cultural institution that displayed sounds as its objects within the parameters of accepted museum theory and practice. MOPS served as the subject of our Director’s cross-disciplinary PhD thesis, Listening to Museums: Sounds as Objects of Culture and Curatorial Care (2020).

Through a three-year process of trial and error guided by visitor feedback, MOPS found its place as a museum dedicated to sound studies ‘beyond music’, and increasingly, contemporary and historical acoustemology – ‘an interdisciplinary area of study dedicated to understanding … sounds, hearers, and listeners in their historical contexts’ (Mansell, 2021). This focus on both past and present histories of sounds, hearing, and listening continues to guide our library’s acquisitions process.

Research Library Catalogue

The MOPS Research Library currently holds over 1,500 books, articles, patents, manuals, audio recordings, and ephemera, in both physical and digital formats. It not only contains resources related to the study of sound but also museology and experimental curatorial practices.

In October 2021 we published the first edition of our Research Library Catalogue, a bibliography organised into over fifty cross-disciplinary subject areas.

Collection Highlights

Browse a selection of notable items held in our Research Library at Museum of Portable Sound Laboratories in Southsea, Portsmouth, UK.

Got something you’d like to donate to our Research Library? Contact us!

Digital Image Library Highlights

Our social media accounts contain significant amounts of research – links, historic images, and our museum’s own creative output creating sound-related memes. Our Research library also keeps an archive of all the digital images we post across social media. Below is a gallery of some of our most popular (and/or infamous) meme images at the intersection of sonic and online culture.