Purpose and goal

‘Het Geluid van Nederland’ or ‘The Sound of the Netherlands’ makes an unique sound archive available from the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision. This collection contains over 10.000 sound recordings from the 1950s to the 1990s. It includes horse driven trams, venders and recordings from the ‘Elfstedentocht 1986’. A selection of 2.000 recording of this archive is now available under an open license on this website. This collection shows the evolving soundscape of the Netherlands.

The purpose of ‘Het Geluid van Nederland’ is to make this collection of ‘lost sounds’ once more available to a wide audience. We also encourage users of this site to add sounds to our archive. We will actively approach field-recording communities and other interested parties to encourage them to participate in this project. All sounds, old and new, will be made available on this website, provided it is made available using open licenses.  

Reuse and Research

The collection is made available for use and reuse under a Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license. This license gives explicit permssion to remix and distribute sounds, as long as the creator of the recording is mentioned and results of remixes are made available under the same license. Making these recordings available with geolocation and year of creation provides an interesting dataset for scholars and researchers about how sound changes over time.

How to contribute

We want to expand this online open archive of ‘lost sounds’. We need your help to do this! You can contribute by a varity of tools that we make available.

Mobile apps:

We have mobile apps for iOS and Android available. You can also use our website (see below).


  • Contribute additional information to the existing sounds by means of commenting on them.
  • Upload your own sound recordings using the upload functionality.
  • Suggest locations that have a interesting sound(scape) for others to record.

Professional and amateur sound designers, media artitst, producers and all other interested parties can create new works based on the sounds that are presented on this website.


It is important that the collection is well described to be easily searchable and reusable. To improve the metadata quality of this collection we collaborate with the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht (College of Arts, Utrecht) and researchpartner STEIM.

Made possible by

Het Geluid van Nederland is a project by the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision, De Auditieve Dienst en Kennisland. The collection that is made available has been digitized in the Dutch digitization project ‘Images for the Future’. Het Geluid van Nederland is made possible through financial support of Stichting Doen and the BankGiro Loterij.