Sound and Technology Beige Literature Search Engine

What is this?

This search box queries an index over a set of websites that contain interesting and sometimes rare information about sound and technology, with a focus on historical and other hard-to-find information that is not normally indexed by scholarly search engines. Requires Javascript and is powered (for now) by Google Programmable Search Engine. This means that ads appear in search results, but you can always install an adblocker in the meantime. It also means you can use your favorite Google search operators.


What can I do to help?
If you are a researcher or librarian who actively researches and/or collects digital materials relating to sound and technology (construed broadly), please submit seed URLs for inclusion in the index to Please take care not to accidentally submit personally identifying information, tokens, etc. along with your URLs.
That sounds interesting, I think I can help with this. What's one way to prepare a list of URLs for submission?
Have a look in your reference manager, such as Zotero, for Web Page items that you use regularly and see if there are any domains for e.g. forums, datasheet libraries, scans that you regularly use. (No *gen sites, please!) There will eventually be a tool here to help you identify domains that you regularly use or cite in your research. We do not ask you to share your bibliographies (though they are always welcome), but rather just the URLs that host resources that you've found useful in your research.
What is the future of this project?
Uncertain. If you do submit URLs, please be aware that we might continue to use them to create our own index from scratch, which will ultimately not be dependent on Google's infrastructure. For now, however, this serves as an MVP for the project and may prove useful to researchers.
What is “beige literature”?
I'm not sure yet. Grey literature is defined as “information produced on all levels of government, academia, business and industry in electronic and print formats not controlled by commercial publishing (ie. where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body.)”. It is not generally indexed by scholarly databases. Some of the sites indexed right now by this custom search engine are commercial publications scanned by individuals working outside of traditional commercial publishing. As such, this site is not entirely made up of “grey” literature but includes quite a bit of it all the same. It's beige.
Can you give a non-exhaustive list of examples of the kinds of things you are interested in?
Websites that host collections of:
  • datasheets for electronic components
  • service manuals
  • technical reports
  • whitepapers
  • memoranda
  • trade magazines
  • specifications
  • schematics
  • code listings/repositories
as they might relate to sound and technology. This collection policy is woefully underdetermined and although it is biased toward 20th/21st-century material, is not intended to exclude resources that may be useful to the study of the long history of sound and technology.