Citizen DJ

Library of Congress Announces Online Sampling and Remixing Resource, ‘Citizen DJ’


Brian Foo. (Credit: Shawn Miller/Library of Congress)

In honor of the Library of Congress’ 220th birthday, America’s largest research library has announced Citizen DJ, an online-based sampling and remixing program. DJs, producers, and creatives can access the entire catalog of royalty-free sounds from the library’s audio and moving-image collections to remix or download source material sounds in bulk. A preview┬áis currently available, and the full service will launch this summer.

The sound files can be accessed in three ways: searching by sound and metadata, a music-creation app that allows the collection to be remixed with hip-hop beats, and sample packs full of thousands of clips from individual collections.

Creator Brian Foo is a breakdancer and data visualizer, turned Innovator in Residence at the Library of Congress. He’s also an old school hip-hop fanatic, and Citizen DJ was inspired by DJs digging through crates of records for obscure samples to create unique breaks or new songs. “What is that collective crate that we all own as American citizens?” he said to the New York Times. He continued, “What are these sounds that can be used in an unrestricted creative way?” To Consequence of Sound, he added, “a new generation of hip hop artists and producers can maximize their creativity, invent new sounds, and connect listeners to materials, cultures, and sonic history that might otherwise be hidden from public ears.”

Watch the video below and preview Citizen DJ here.

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