British Queen celebrates


The British Library has reconnected historical recordings of cultural songs and stories to the people of the Solomon Islands through a partnership with the

National Museum.

High Commissioner Thomas Coward presented the audio equipment to Deputy Director of the National Museum, Lawrence Kiko, as part of the True Echoes project. This collaborative effort between the British Library and the Solomon Islands National Museum involved the digitisation and research of wax cylinder recordings from the British Library’s collection, made in the Solomon Islands between 1908 and 1914.

These recordings encompass significant music, stories, and speeches, documenting the oral traditions, cultural rituals, and history of communities in Simbo, Rannonga, and across Malaita.

The True Echoes project facilitated the donation of audio equipment by the British Library to the Solomon Islands National Museum, enabling the local community to access these valuable digital recordings. Upon receiving the equipment, Deputy Director Lawrence Kiko expressed gratitude, stating:

"The museum is thankful to receive the equipment as it will enhance the recording of cultural and historical stories within focus communities in the Solomon Islands through the True Echoes Participatory Research Project, in partnership with the British Library. This handover marks another milestone in cultural preservation, aiding in the digitisation and playback of numerous historical tapes."

Isobel Clouter, Principal Investigator on the True Echoes project at the British Library, highlighted the project's goals:

"The True Echoes project aims to share intangible cultural heritage and reconnect rich archival sources held by the British Library and other UK institutions with communities, researchers, and peer institutions across the Pacific region. We are grateful to the UK High Commission in the Solomon Islands for their continued support and are delighted to donate this audio equipment to the Solomon Islands National Museum, supporting long-term access to this rich collection of recordings."

True Echoes was funded by the Leverhulme Trust and the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

The collection is available online at True Echoes.