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Historical Sound Recordings Yale University. The historical 78 rpm records project and other rare holdings at Yale Kendall Crilly, Diane Napert. Cataloging Project, The beginning. Andrew W. Mellon Foundation called a meeting to check status of large sound archives in U.S.

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historical sound recordings yale university

Historical Sound Recordings Yale University

The historical 78 rpm records project and other rare holdings at Yale

Kendall Crilly, Diane Napert

cataloging project the beginning
Cataloging Project, The beginning
  • Andrew W. Mellon Foundation called a meeting to check status of large sound archives in U.S.
  • Established that bibliographic control was lacking, particularly for 78s
  • Needed bibliographic control before could embark on other projects such as digitization
planning grant
Planning Grant
  • Planning grant was requested from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation by three institutions in 2004 and approved
  • These institutions were:
    • Yale University, Historical Sound Recordings Collection
    • Stanford University, Archive of Recorded Sound
    • New York Public Library, Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound
planning grant4
Planning Grant
  • Planning activities took place from July 1, 2004 to January 31,2005
planning included
Planning included:
  • Better organization of sound recordings
  • More accurate counts of sound recordings
  • Analysis of availability and quality of copy
  • Time studies for various formats (78s, LPs, cassettes)
numbers of recordings
Numbers of Recordings
  • 853,162 commercial recordings at Yale, Stanford and Rodgers & Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound
  • Over 320,000 78 rpm recordings – mostly uncataloged
cataloging samples
Cataloging Samples
  • Cataloging sample showed high rate of copy for multi-disc sets (92%)
  • Low rate for single 78 rpm recordings (7%)
the grant was awarded
The Grant was awarded!
  • Mellon awarded a grant of $789,000 starting in 2006 for cataloging of 78 rpm recordings
catalogers hired
Catalogers Hired
  • Stanford University hires Frank Ferko June 2006
  • New York Public Library for the Performing Arts hires Heeseop Regent July 2006
  • Yale University hires Diane Napert September 2006
structure of work
Structure of work
  • Yale was slated to catalog A-D labels
  • Stanford E-R
  • Rodgers & Hammerstein Archives S-Z
  • Syracuse approved by Mellon to join project in March 2008, focused on Decca
the numbers
The numbers
  • The project contributed over 24,000 records to OCLC through November 2009 (figure includes only 2008 for Syracuse, approx. 3,500, and some upgraded copy)
  • Volume figures would be higher due to multi-disc sets and multiple copies
  • Yale able to extend project a few months with money from Yale Class of ’45W and add several hundred more records
overlap in collections
Overlap in Collections
  • Stanford brought in 19,000 bib records to their system, many of which were contributed via the project
  • Yale had 63% hit rate against Stanford’s Edison bib records, less than 1% for Gramophone (Yale’s holdings are mostly Scandinavian)
the bibliographic records
The bibliographic records
  • Access points were added for composers, lyricists, arrangers, performing groups (but not each player within a named group), main performers, conductors, speakers
  • Attempts were made to connect arias to the correct opera and excerpted songs to the correct musicals (mostly successful)
the labels
The labels
  • Over 360 labels worked on
  • The largest included Brunswick, Capitol, Columbia, Decca, Edison, Gramophone and Victor
other labels

Société des Phonographes Bettini, Paris, ca. 1900

Verdi’s Trovatore. Balen del suo sorriso, arranged, in French

Fernand Baer, bass ; with piano acc.

Other Labels
other labels21

Other Labels

Black Swan, New York, 1921

Down home blues by Tom Delaney

Ethel Waters ; with Cordy Williams' Jazz Masters

Later recorded work for Columbia, 1925

other labels22
Other Labels
  • Germany, Christschall, ca. 1931
  • Obrecht. Missa 'Malheur me bat‘. Dona nobis pacem
  • Münchener Domchor ; Ludwig Berberich, conductor
the web site
The web-site
  • Hired web designer, Nilou Moochhala, http://www.nymdesign.com/
  • http://www.library.yale.edu/musiclib/hsr/
the recordings
The recordings
  • Shape note singing
  • Musicals, operas, zarzuelas, operettas, incl. H.M.S. Pinafore translated into Yiddish “Der Shirtz”
  • Comedy skits
  • American Indian rituals
  • Political speeches, American and British
  • Campbell’s Pork and Beans Review (Andrews Sisters)
  • Art songs, sacred songs, popular music, jazz
  • Golf and dance instruction, parakeet lessons
  • Puzzle records
African languages




Church Slavonic










Gaelic, Irish

Haitian French Creole


languages cont




















Languages (cont.)
languages cont28
Languages (cont.)
  • Plus a few others
  • A few languages only occurred at some institutions (such as African languages, Stanford)
lots of resources consulted
Lots of Resources Consulted
  • Discographies of labels, musical styles
  • For musicals: American song : the complete musical theatre companion by Ken Bloom, c1996-c2001 (though we also had a considerable number of British musical theatre excerpts)
  • For opera arias: Universal-Handbuch der Musikliteratur aller Zeiten und Völker : als Nachschlagewerk und Studienquelle der Welt-Musikliteratur by Franz Pazdírek, [1904-1910?]
eccentric names
Eccentric names
  • Started a list of eccentric names
    • Hot Lips Page (1908-1954)
    • Red (Nichols and Norvo)
    • Pee Wee (Hunt, Russell and Tinney)
    • Scrappy
    • Lefty
  • Most translated aria
most popular arias
Most popular arias
  • Pagliacci. Vesti la giubba in Czech, German Russian, English, French
  • Carmen, several of the arias in several languages each
best sleuthing story
Best Sleuthing Story
  • Labels says: Arja Jako od wichru z op. Halka [by] Moniuszki
  • Actually is: Nie swatała mi cię swatka by Niewiadomski
  • Curator of collection sent copy of recording to associate in Poland
  • Others mainly typos for composer’s or work’s name
inquiries from around the world
Inquiries from around the world
  • India
  • England (We Belong Together, Grey Gardens 2009 TV)
  • Spain
  • U.S. California, New York, other
  • Diane Napert, diane.napert@yale.edu
  • Kendall Crilly,