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First Sounds

First Sounds strives to make humanity's earliest sound recordings available to all people for all time.

First Sounds seeks out the world's oldest sound recordings—wherever they are.
We rewrote history in 2008 when we discovered and resurrected humanity’s first recordings of its own voice, created in 1860 in Paris by Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville. Since then, we have identified and played back even older recordings. First Sounds remains the authority on Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville and his recordings.

First Sounds is dedicated to audio preservation.
We have digitally preserved every airborne sound recording known to exist from before 1861, plus many recordings made thereafter.

First Sounds pioneered the playback of the oldest sound recordings in 2007 and has been in the forefront ever since.
Sound recordings made before the invention of the phonograph were not intended to be played back. Extracting their sounds remains our specialty.

First Sounds is collaborative.
David Giovannoni, Patrick Feaster, Meagan Hennessey, and Richard Martin founded First Sounds in 2007 to facilitate, coordinate, and promote the efforts of individuals who share their passions and of organizations that share their goals. First Sounds is unincorporated; we neither solicit nor accept financial donations.

First Sounds offers free and universal access to its work.
We believe humanity's earliest sound recordings are the patrimony of all mankind. We present them here under a Creative Commons Attribution (BY) license which conveys certain privileges and responsibilities. We encourage everyone everywhere to study and enjoy them.

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