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The animal sound archive at the MfN is a unique resource of acoustic records that is now digitally converted to become an effective tool for biodiversity research. By rigorously converting the entire collection into digital format, making audio items available on various Internet platforms, and targeted enrichment of metadata, the animal sound archive is developed further into a research infrastructure that caters for the more ambitious needs of interdisciplinary research and knowledge transfer. We take particular care in developing the animal sound reference system as a basis for the development of automated methods for recording biodiversity.