BLYTHE HOUSE ARCHIVE, LONDON – A vintage 1982 Philips portable tape recorder once held in the Science Museum’s archives has been officially transferred to the collections of the Museum of Portable Sound.
The sounds we exhibit in our Permanent Collection Galleries are stored on a single iPhone 4S. It is this single iPhone that all our visitors – online and in-person – listen to when accessing our collections of digital audio files, which are not available to stream online nor in a mobile app they can listen to on their own time.
But why? Why would a 21st century museum keep a collection of digital audio offline and inaccessible? Isn’t online access the only thing that keeps museums relevant in the digital age?
Now you can learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the design of our museum’s conceptual, performative architecture in our new architectural spotlight essay.
We’ve just completed a substantial update to our website: an all-new section about our Collections!
There are now individual pages dedicated to each of our four primary collections:
- our Permanent Collection of Sounds
- our Physical Objects Collection
- our Research Library
- and our Video Gallery
Read about how each collection got its start, look at behind-the-scenes photos, browse highlights of each collection, download PDF guides, and more!
Earlier today our Director & Chief Curator appeared as part of The Power of Sound, a panel session that took place at the Ecsite European Network of Science Centres & Museums 2021 conference.
The session was convened by Michèle Antoine of Universcience in Paris, and also featured presentations about sound-based exhibitions by Mark Read of Universcience and Christian Rohr of Museum für Kommunikation in Bern, Switzerland.
The Power of Sound was attended by an impressive crowd of 115 people from Ecsite’s extensive network of science and technology professionals – breaking our record for the most number of visitors to our museum in a single day!
Our Director’s 10-minute presentation – which includes a short guided tour of our museum – is available to watch for a short time on our YouTube channel:
Until further notice, due to the Covid-19 outbreak we will now be conducting visits to the Museum of Portable Sound exclusively online. You’ll still get the same one-on-one access you’re used to, but now it will be via the magic of video chat. Learn more and book your Online Visit!
Here are 12 highlights of our institution’s activities in 2019 – it’s been an eventful and productive year, and here’s to an even bigger and better 2020!
On 1 July 2019, the Sony Walkman will turn 40 years old. We’re teaming up with the National Science and Media Museum to celebrate this milestone.
The Sony Walkman was a breakthrough in portable technology that changed the way the world listens. It allowed individuals to create their own sound environment, opening up a new, cinematic, and personal way of experiencing the world.
As part of this event, we’ll mark the anniversary by launching the newest redesign of our own permanent collection galleries—all of which exist on a single mobile phone! This groundbreaking personal museum listening experience builds on the history that the Walkman started.
Come listen to selections from the 300+ sound objects we’ll now permanently have on display, and learn more about our mission to bring the culture of sound to the world… one listener at a time!
- See behind the scenes of National Science and Media Museum’s collection with a tour of Insight: Collections and Research Centre
- John Kannenberg, Director of the Museum of Portable Sound, will talk about the history of the Sony Walkman and how it has influenced our lives, as well as the development of his own museum
- Experience a sample of the vast array of sounds curated by the Museum of Portable Sound
- Q&A on sound in museums with John Kannenberg, Annie Jamieson (Curator of Sound Technologies at National Science and Media Museum) and James Mansell (University of Nottingham, author of The Age of Noise in Britain)
Many thanks to Annie Jamieson and the National Science and Media Museum for hosting this event!
Find out in only two minutes thanks to this handy little infomercial now available at our YouTube Channel!
We’re pleased to announce the release of a new printed book and digital audio box set, The 4′33” Museum! This deluxe printed book and digital audio set includes nearly 4 hours of sounds from 50 different museums around the world, and the book contains full-colour photographs, notes, and an essay on collecting. Our Director and Chief Curator John Kannenberg has been collecting these recordings for more than a decade, and we’re proud to be able to bring this stunning collection to you as part of our new publishing branch, Museum of Portable Sound Press.
Buy The 4’33” Museum at johnkannenberg.com!