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From writer John Updike to actor Dustin Hoffman, Wikipedia is archiving the voices of notable people so that future generations can hear what they sounded like.

The Wikipedia Voice intro project is collecting 10-second audio recordings of anyone with a bio page on the site, NPR reports.

The BBC is contributing audio clips as well, the first time the network has openly licensed audio from its broadcast programs, according to Wikimedia UK.

Audio has benefits over video because some people do not feel comfortable in front of a camera, said Andy Mabbett, one of the people working on the project, in an interview with NPR.

The voice is also a "very personal thing," he said.

"If you think about the people in your own life, you know their voice the moment you hear it," Mabbett told NPR.

Other famous people with their voices archived on Wikipedia are actor Morgan Freeman,Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web, and Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize winner.

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