Here’s that amazing story from the BBC:
In 1937 Marie Slocombe was working as a summer relief secretary at the BBC.
One of her tasks was to sort out – and dispose of – a pile of dusty broadcast discs. She noticed that among them were recordings of GB Shaw, HG Wells, Winston Churchill, Herbert Asquith and GK Chesterton. So she hesitated.
Marie Slocombe saved those recordings from the scrap heap. In that moment was the humble beginning of what became one of the most important collections of recordings in the world – the BBC Sound Archive.