The French Canadians have good ideas:
SoundTransit is a collection of environmental sounds.
It is described as "The SoundTransit project revolves around a growing collection of environmental sounds recorded by 'soundhunters' from all over the world. Each sound artist described the place and moment of the recording, the characteristics of the location or the peculiarity of the sound itself. These stories add another dimension to the sounds; one that connects and simultaneously exceeds time and place.
The Macauly Library
The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology is the world's largest natural sound and video archive of animal behavior. Its mission is to collect and preserve recordings of each species' behavior and natural history and to make them available for research, education, conservation, zoos and aquaria, wildlife managers, publishers, the arts, and both public and commercial media. Since 1930, recordists of all backgrounds have contributed their recordings, which now number to several hundred thousand in total. A large percentage of the recordings can be searched and played online. The Library also provides services for consultation, custom compilations, and professionally edited versions of its assets.
he Freesound Project aims to create a huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps, ... released under the Creative Commons Sampling Plus License. The Freesound Project provides new and interesting ways of accessing these samples, allowing users to
* browse the sounds in new ways using keywords, a "sounds-like" type of browsing and more
* up and download sounds to and from the database, under the same creative commons license
* interact with fellow sound-artists!
The Freesound Project is a collaborative database of Creative Commons licensed sounds. Freesound focusses only on sound, not songs. This is what sets freesound apart from other splendid libraries like ccMixter.