Free technology for teachers: swords, planes and cartoons

The Internet Archive’s USC Optical Sound Effects Library is a collection of hundreds of sound effects recordings created for Hollywood studios beginning in the 1930s through the 1980s. The recordings were donated to USC and are now digitized for playback and download in the Internet Archive.

The Internet Archive’s USC Optical Sound Effects Library has three collections within it. The Gold and Red libraries are made up of sound effects created in the 1930s and 1940s. The Sunset Editorial Library has sound effects recordings made from the 1930s to the 1980s.

When you look at the Internet Archive’s USC Optical Sound Effects Library, you’ll find sound effects for things like classic cartoon noises (boing! pow!), swords clashing (classic swashbuckler movie sounds), crowd noises, and planes flying and flying. through the sky

All recordings in the library are short. Some are introduced by a speaker and others are not. The ones that have an intro you can still use if you download the MP3 and then do a quick edit to remove the intro.

Applications for education
I’ve long said that the best way to make sure you don’t accidentally infringe on copyright is to use your own original audio recordings. When this is not practical or possible, use audio files that are in the public domain or licensed under Creative Commons. The Internet Archive’s USC Optical Sound Effects Library can be a good source of free sound effects for your students’ next video project or podcast project.

For more modern sound effects, check out the resources I’ve featured here.

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