Citizen DJ

American English Dialect Recordings

The Center for Applied Linguistics Collection contains 118 hours of recordings documenting North American English dialects. The recordings include speech samples, linguistic interviews, oral histories, conversations, and excerpts from public speeches. They were drawn from various archives, and from the private collections of fifty collectors, including linguists, dialectologists, and folklorists.

View this collection on the Library of Congress website

Download files in bulk

A set of 4389 audio samples have been automatically generated from this collection for use in your favorite music production software. It contains 293 audio segments and 4096 one-shot audio clips, ideal for use in samplers.

Rights & access

The sound recordings from this collection that are part of the Citizen DJ project are free to use and reuse. You can copy, modify, distribute and perform the works, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. The American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress asks that artists approach the materials in this collection with respect for the culture and sensibilities of the people whose lives, ideas, and creativity are documented here. Artists are also reminded that privacy and publicity rights may pertain to certain uses of this material. Attribution is recommended but not required.

Why is this free to use?

The Center for Applied Linguistics donated the recordings to the Library of Congress in 1986. Although these recordings came with no releases, permissions research was undertaken by Library staff as part of their work to make this collection available online. Citizen DJ includes only those interviews where there was written permission given to the Library by the interviewee.

Suggested credit line

Citizen DJ Project, Center for Applied Linguistics collection (AFC 1986/022), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress.

Browse & preview files

Click the files below to preview the audio segments: