78s and cylinders
This is a discussion group for those interested in buying, selling or trading early vintage sound recordings. Features include sale listings, auction notifications, trade offers and want lists. An archive of prior message postings is maintained on the site. 78-C is a member of Yahoo! Groups. To participate in this site you must register for a Yahoo! ID and password.
78-L is a discussion group created for those interested in music and recordings of the pre-LP era. Discussions can cover all music, recordings, recording history and similar topics of this era. To subscribe to the list you must register.
78rpm is an informative and thorough site. Visitors can locate places to buy and sell 78-rpm records, equipment and supplies; find general discography sources; and read articles on topics ranging from repair and cleaning to stories and histories of 78s and record companies. The site also offers an extensive selection of label pictures, and there is a game page where you can test your knowledge. For sites covering topics of similar interest try the list of links at the bottom of the home page.
78tours.com is a site geared toward collectors of 78 records, antiques and memorabilia. Primarily a "swap site" for the exchange of items, it is also a good resource site, covering topics of interest to collectors. It offers a brief chronology of inventions from 1857 to 1957, as well as graphics, tips on playing and preserving records, a section on the value of records and a list of record sellers. There is also a collectors' forum where visitors can communicate their share their "passion for music and 78-rpm records."
Europe's leading 78-rpm mail-auctions specialists, they publish discographies (notably the German National Discography) and they offer online discographies to be downloaded from the Internet.
A member of Yahoo! Groups, the Cylinder Discussion Group is for those interested in discussing, preserving and buying or trading cylinder records. Those who are interested in participating in the site must register.
A digital collection of cylinder recordings held by the Department of Special Collections. A searchable and browsable database, with audio, that can be freely downloaded or streamed online.
An index to master recordings and published discs made by the Victor Talking Machine Company, beginning in 1900.
This site is primarily for those interested in buying 78-rpm/cylinder recordings. In addition to the auction, there are book and machine sales. For those interested in books on vintage records, wind-up phonographs and antique radios, this site has an extensive booklist.
General history of sound recording
An overview of sound recording technology at the Canada Science and Technology Museum.
Founded in 1899, the Phonogrammarchiv, an institute of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, is the oldest sound archive in the world. At the website, visitors can learn about the Wiener Archiv-Phonograph, which was developed in the Phonogrammarchiv in 1901. There is a brief comparison between fieldwork equipment then and now, and information on archiving, technical safeguarding, preservation and re-recording. At present, the archive holds approximately 5 000 items including sound documents, videos and audio clips. There are samples that may be downloaded. English and German.
Provides an in-depth look at most aspects of Thomas Edison's life, including some MP3 files.
Art Makosinski has dedicated this site to the Canadian performer, Henry Burr. It provides a brief biography of the artist and access to a list of over 830 Burr recordings held in the Henry Burr Research Project.
The website of the Quebec museum dedicated to Emile Berliner features a photographic tour of selected items in the museum's collection. Also available are archived exhibitions as well as biographical information on Émile Berliner.
For those interested in the minds behind the recording/sound technology, this site provides biographical and invention information. One is able to access this information by inventor, invention name and invention date.
A good resource site for those interested in phonographs (or in Nipper). This site includes a brief history of the phonograph, a list of topical books, RealAudio files for disc and cylinder recordings and related on-line resources.
This site provides both basic and specialized articles about phonographs and old recordings for the beginner or advanced collector. The online resources tend to emphasize collectors' pages.
Societies and associations
ASCAP is an American performing rights organization representing composers, songwriters, lyricists, and music publishers. It represents a broad scope of works, from Irving Berlin to Garth Brooks, George Gershwin to Madonna. Their website offers information about the society, and information, stories and opinions about the music business.
The website of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections is most useful to those looking to join this association.
BMI is another American performing rights organization. The company represents songwriters, composers and music publishers from many different genres.
The website of the Canadian Antique Phonograph Society (CAPS) offers photographs, Internet resources and publications relating to the phonograph and record collector. Subscriptions to CAPS' bi-monthly publication, Antique Phonograph News, or a membership in the Society can be initiated here.
CMRRA is a non-profit agency representing music copyright owners in Canada. Visit the site to learn about licensing music or to search their music database.
The City of London Phonograph and Gramophone Society was created in 1919, from various independent pre-WWI societies. A booklist is available on their site as well as a number of excellent links to Internet sites of similar interest.
This association publishes the IASA Journal, sets standards and offers membership. Information bulletins from international members are online.
This site provides a detailed description of the audio-visual collections and collection procedures at the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BNF). The BNF has a substantial collection of 78-rpm discs.
This is a good site for those interested in Quebec's published heritage. BANQ has musical scores and sound recordings as part of its special collections. Its multimedia catalogue IRIS allows on-line access to collections of books, prints, artists' books, posters, postcards, maps, and sound recordings. IRIS has bibliographic notes and some include images and sounds.
The British Library Sound Archive is one of the largest sound archives in the world. It holds over a million discs, 185 000 tapes, and many other sound and video recordings. The collections come from all over the world and cover the entire range of recorded sound from music, drama and literature, to oral history and wildlife sounds. They range from cylinders made in the late 19th century to the latest CD, DVD and minidisk.
The Finnish Institute of Recorded Sound collects all Finnish records made before the 1981 introduction of legal deposit of sound recordings in Finland. Their website has a collection of record labels, a catalogue of Finnish records from 1901 to 1945, and a list of artists and the records that their work appeared on from 1902 to 1945. An excellent feature of this site is the well-organized and informative database of Finnish music that can be browsed by title, original title, artist, composer, lyricist, label, and album title. From the database page, visitors can connect to a page with links to online record shops.
This site provides general information about the sound recordings in the Library of Congress.
The Public Domain Music website offers audio and text files of music from a small number of composers, and from song eras and styles of the late 18th to early 20th centuries. Along with sound and lyrics, there are brief biographies (some with pictures) of each composer.
The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, collects, preserves and shares Australia's screen and sound heritage.
This site provides a general description of the archives collections and archives use policy.
The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music (SACAM) acquires and preserves significant archival records and historical artifacts in multiple media formats that document America’s local and national music history and its diverse cultures.
Phonographs, gramophones and mechanical musical instruments
"ACMMI is a group of dedicated enthusiasts interested in collecting and restoring all kinds of mechanical musical instruments." People who are interested in player pianos (pianolas), reproducing pianos, fair-ground organs, music boxes, gramophones/phonographs, and automata can view pictures of the instruments, as well as download sounds from the various machines.
This site offers information on the museum, as well as links to other museum sites, and sites of similar interest. A highlight of the site is the selection of phonograph, gramophone, and accessory catalogue images from 1898 to 1912. There is also a collection of more than 200 different cylinder phonographs.
Music from 1900 to 1950
A discussion site, 20s to 50s Pop Music is, like it suggests, dedicated to pop music of the period from the 1920s through the mid-50s. Note: This site is a member of the Yahoo! Groups and those who are interested must register to be a member.
Three collections of published music, concentrating on early 20th century popular music, dance band sets, and barbershop quartet.
This collection focusses on orchestral music for silent films. It consists of 2,111 complete sets assembled by Louis B. Schnauber between 1910 and 1927. The collection can be searched through alphabetized name/title index and title index. Information found in the collection includes titles, composer and arranger names and dates, and publication place and dates.
This is a collection of over 16,000 pages of sheet music from 3,042 pieces published in the United States between 1850 and 1920.
This collection consists mainly of sheet music, both vocal and piano, and anthologies of dance tunes. Most composers of popular song from the early decades of the 20th century are represented; the bulk of the music dates from 1910 to 1927. Visitors can browse the collection online.
The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music contains over 29,000 pieces of music and focusses on popular American music from 1780 to 1960. The collection can be browsed or searched. Catalogue descriptions will be retrieved and if the music was published before 1923 and is in public domain an image of the cover and each page of music will be retrieved as well.
This site is a source of sheet music published in Canada before 1921, selected from Library and Archives Canada's historical collection. This database presents the portion of the collection that has been digitized. The online collection may be keyword searched by title, name or subject as well as browsed by a score or musical recording. Specific periods such as First World War era or pre-Confederation era can be searched.
An online collection of over 47,000 pieces of American music registered for copyright during the years 1870 to 1885. The collection includes popular songs, piano music, solo instrumental music, method books and instructional materials, and music for band and orchestra.
The Sam DeVincent collection contains approximately 130,000 pieces of American sheet music from the 1790s to the early 1980s. Most of the sheet music is either solo piano or piano/vocal arrangement.
This online collection contains sheet music, theater programs, clippings, photos and other show business materials. The bulk of the collection consists of sheet music from World Wars I and II, and dance music from the early 1900s to the end of World War II. The theater programs are from 1899 to 1975 mostly from Boston and New York. Of special interest are additional pieces of sheet music, many of which honor Charles A. Lindbergh. A great deal of information can be found on the site, including composer, lyricist, performer, and publisher names, publication dates for the sheet music, program, theater and director names, and stars of the theater programs.
Operissimo is devoted to operas, opera performers and opera houses, and is a good resource for current information. Visitors to the site can search or browse for information on performers and conductors, including biographies, photos, audio or video clips. The highlight of the site is the "Opera Houses" page. Operissimo lists more than 300 opera houses in 41 countries with their addresses, seat capacity, calendars of events, information on their productions, and links to their websites.
A highly specialized but informative site on music rolls created for the Wurlitzer Military Band Organ in a format known as style 165. The site offers a comprehensive catalog that attempts to list all known style 165 band organ rolls, including rolls known only from catalog or roll labels. Each roll listing shows -- to the extent known -- title, stage revue or motion picture featuring the tune, composer name, date of first publication, type of composition, and original issue date. The site also provides information and the history of roll music, in particular, the Wurlitzer style 165 band rolls.
Americana Resources Inc. Is an antiques and collectibles organization headquartered in Maryland, U.S.A. This site showcases their large collection, which is organized into various catalogues. The catalogues can be browsed, or the visitor can perform a search for the items they seek. The diverse collection includes several music-related catalogues of piano rolls, records/cylinders, and sheet music. Although orders are not placed directly through the site, they can be made via email.
This is a good site for those interested in audio restoration. Graham Newton restores master recordings for CD re-issue by major record companies, and offers services to transfer and restore old phonograph records or tapes to digital media. The site offers information about audio restoration, sources for restoration, and links to sites of similar interest.
The focus of this site is to give an overview of the historical development of the popular song in Quebec. There is some discussion of the recording industry, with references to cylinders, 78-rpm discs and the Berliner Company.
DDM-Online supplies bibliographic records for dissertations in musicology, music theory, ethnomusicology, as well as in related musical, scientific, and humanistic disciplines. Containing more than 10 800 records, DDM-Online can be searched by author or keyword, or browsed by category and an index of authors. Please note: It is only the bibliographic records that are available online; however many of the dissertations may be available for purchase.
Disc-o-Logue is a Web-accessible database containing information on close to 90 000 French-language pop-music sound recordings sold in Canada between 1955 and 1985.
MC Productions is dedicated to preserving and making available the recordings of the 78-rpm era, focusing on the Jazz Age (1925 - 1935). Audiocassettes of 78-rpm recordings from jazz to blues and classical are available for purchase. One may download the MC Production Catalogue as well as Mickey Clark's 24 000 song title database. For similar websites try the links page.
This site acts as a links page for phonograph-related websites. There are over 150 member sites dealing with early recorded sound (recordings earlier than 33-rpm and 45-rpm vinyl records.) Visitors can browse or search the detailed list of sites. Some topics of the member sites include 78-rpm and other early disc records, cylinder records, discographical information, artists, collections, sales and auctions, and dealers.
This site is designed for all record collectors and enthusiasts. Members can participate in discussions, make announcements, post wanted items, or items for sale or trade.