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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

UCSB Cylinder Audio Archive has over 10,000 recordings

"EdisonPhonograph" by Norman Bruderhofer, - own work (transferred from de:File:Phonograph.jpg). Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons -

The University of California at Santa Barbara Library has amassed a collection of over 10,000 audio wax cylinder recordings and posted the recordings online for free access. Here is a quote from their website explaining the collection:
The UCSB Library has several major collections of cylinders. The Todd Collection consists of approximately 6,000 cylinders, ranging from brown wax to late Blue Amberols. It is especially strong in two- and four-minute Edison wax cylinders. The Blanche Browning-Rich Collection consists of approximately 1,200 Blue Amberol cylinders from unplayed dealer's inventory, acquired by the library in 2002 from the Rich family of Ogden, Utah. The collection of the late author and discographer William R. Moran is especially strong in operatic cylinders, including many Edison rarities. The Library of Congress, Bowling Green State University, UCLA, UW Madison, and Western Michigan University also contributed cylinders to the project for digitization. The Fred Williams collection consists of over 1,000 cylinders of concert and military band recordings. The Edouard Pecourt collection contains over 3,000 French cylinders. Other smaller collections of cylinders have been acquired from various donors.
Everything historical has something to do with genealogy. You might note the following about personal recordings that were made:
The website also includes the Library’s collection of more than 650 Vernacular Wax Cylinder Recordings, which in 2015 were selected to be part of the Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry. These personal recordings, also known as home wax recordings, were made by everyday people at home, not by record companies or field researchers, and capture the early spirit of the public’s interaction with recording technology.
Perhaps one of your ancestors in included in these recordings?

1 comment:

  1. The UCSB collection includes a 1910 recording of the 1909 novelty song "I Think I Hear a Woodpecker Knocking At My Family Tree."

    The lyrics and sheet music can be found here: