Listening Desk

An interactive sound sculpture - with the British Library

photo of man at desk under trumpet shape


Until 31 March 2025

Visitor information

This interactive desk is currently out of order - we're working hard to get it back operational for our visitors. 

In Tyneside Challenge gallery, first floor

The Listening Desk was created Emily Peasgood in collaboration with The British Library and is one of nine Listening Desks across the UK. 

Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.


The Listening Desk is an interactive sound sculpture that invites you to listen to recordings from Tyne & Wear Archives’ sound archives and get creative by making your own soundscapes.

With a user friendly touch screen you can mix the sound of a busy train station from early 20 century with a local folk song, or the sound of Sparkie Williams the talking budgie with the sound of King George V’s speech in 1928 for the opening of the Tyne Bridge – it’s up to you! With 16 historical sounds to mix and match you can create your own sounds of the north east. 

The north east sounds featured on the Listening Desk were digitised as part of the national Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project, in collaboration with the British Library.


Heritage Lottery Fund Heritage Lottery Fund