MLA NEwsletter

Yale University Provides Access to HSR and OHAM Recordings

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The Irving S. Gilmore Music Library (GML) is pleased to announce the completion of a project to describe and provide open access to a collection of 732 Berliner Gramophone discs from its Historical Sound Recordings (HSR) Collection. In the late 19th Century, Emil Berliner (1851-1929) developed the gramophone, which employed flat disc instead of cylinder based recording technology. Cylinders and discs co-existed for a few years, but eventually Berliner’s discs won out and became the dominant technology. The discs in this collection, produced between 1887-1912, represent some of the very first published disc recordings, and offer a unique insight into the earliest years of music and spoken word recording. Access to the collection is available through Archives at Yale (click on the images of each disc in the finding aid to access them). Availability of this important collection was made possible thanks to a grant to Yale University Library from the Arcadia Fund to support open access initiatives. This fund enabled GML to further develop its new audiovisual access platform, Aviary. GML has now added over 2000 recordings to Aviary, providing streaming access to important collections from HSR and Oral History of American Music (OHAM). Details of other collections now available to stream, can be found in this news post from September 2019. Anyone interested in GML’s implementation of Aviary can check out this Twitter thread. GML will also shortly implement the results of some metadata enhancement work done on the Berliner Gramophone Disc Collection, following completion of a recent project to transcribe the labels on these discs using Zooniverse, to provide more accurate and detailed metadata to supplement the existing legacy data currently included in the finding aid.

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