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Sound & Science: Digital Histories

“Sound & Science: Digital Histories” is an online database for the history of acoustics. It serves as a multimedia resource for historians of science, culture, and technology, along with students and other researchers.

The database provides difficult-to-access sources, such as texts, images, sound recordings, information on acoustic artifacts, historical reenactments of acoustic experiments, along with entries on the key figures, locations, artifacts, and technologies that have shaped the history of acoustics on a global scale.

The source material is presented through curated categories, while an extensible tagging system facilitates research navigation and identifies key materials used for the manufacture of acoustic artifacts, sites of knowledge production, personal networks, scientific concepts and topics, and areas of study. The print publications of research scholars can be linked back to the database using QR codes. The database also serves as a platform for multimedia essays by linking various different sources.

The database was initiated in 2015 by the research group “Epistemes of Modern Acoustics” at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. Since 2020, it is a collaborative project between the Media Studies Department at Humboldt University (Viktoria Tkaczyk, Martin Meier), the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin (Hansjakob Ziemer), the Department of Music at New York University/IRCAM in Paris (Fanny Gribenski), and Ingenium: Canada’s Museum of Sciences and Innovation in Ottawa (David Pantalony, Tom Everrett), Ottawa. We welcome contributions from scholars in the fields of history of science, sound studies, and audio conservation.

Database Editors


Viktoria Tkaczyk

Professor for Media and Knowledge Technologies Department of Musicology and Media Studies, Humboldt University Berlin


Fanny Gribenski

Research Scholar IRCAM, Research group "Analyse des pratiques musicales" STMS Lab (IRCAM—CNRS—Sorbonne Université)


David Pantalony

Curator, Physical Sciences and Medicine | Conservateur, Sciences physiques et médecine Ingenium - Canada's Museums of Science and Innovation / Musées des sciences et de l’innovation du Canada


Tom Everrett

Curator of Communications Ingenium - Canada's Museums of Science and Innovation / Musées des sciences et de l’innovation du Canada


Hansjakob Ziemer

Senior Research Scholar, Head of Cooperation and Communication Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

Technical Support

Martin Meier

Further Collaborators and Student assistants

Sabine Mittermeier
Tobias Lemme
Maryam Soufisiavash

Database Advisory Board

Joeri Bruyninckx

Assistant Professor Technology & Society Studies, Maastricht University

Xiaochang Li

Assistant Professor Department of Communication, Standford University

Rebecca Wolf

Forschungsinstitut für Wissenschafts- und Technikgeschichte Deutsches Museum Munich

From 2015 to 2020, technical implementation was supported by Robert Casties and Florian Kräutli from the Research IT Group at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. Special thanks to the Epistemes of Modern Acoustics student assistants: Eric Caselles, Hannah Eßler, Jonathan Haid, Yaroslav Koshelev, Lotte Schüßler, Alina Topf, and Fabian Voigtschild. We greatly welcome contributions from scholars and practitioners in the history of acoustics. Please get in touch.

© 2015 – 2024 Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin