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The Orchive

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Subject: The Orchive
From: Steven Ness <>
Date: Tue, 27 May 2014 08:26:00 -0700
Dear Colleagues,

I would like to draw your attention to a large archive of bioacoustic recordings, primarily of Northern Resident Orca Whales (Killer Whales), but also consisting of other whales, dolphins and marine mammals, called "The Orchive" which can be accessed at:

 It contains approximately 20,000 hours of recordings, recorded at OrcaLab ( a land based research station founded by Dr. Paul Spong.  Our lab at the University of Victoria in collaboration with OrcaLab has digitized all the tape recordings and have made them available for access by the scientific community at  

You can also download all the recordings directly from in raw 44.1kHz .wav format.  This collection of recordings is over 9 terabytes in size, and all recordings can be downloaded in their full raw format.

In addition, we have a number of other scientific resources available for this dataset, including a full call catalogue based on Dr. John Ford's Northern Resident call catalogue.  We have also scanned approximately 30,000 lab book pages containing a considerable amount of behavioural and acoustic information entered by the researchers at OrcaLab.  These can be accessed through the Orchive website.  

In addition, using the Orchive Interface, 10 scientists and volunteers have made approximately 17,000 annotations of different vocalizations, these annotations are also available for direct download at

I just recently defended my Ph.D. in Computer Science with the subject being the Orchive, in which I describe a computer based system I developed for the annotation and analysis of these vocalizations. I present results on audio feature extraction and machine learning classification of these vocalizations and show that using advanced algorithms, we can classify orca vocalizations with good accuracy.  You can access my Ph.D. thesis at:

If you have any questions about this project, or need help in accessing our data, please feel free to contact me at

Best regards,
Steven Ness.

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The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the Bioacoustics-L mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU