Wednesday, 11 May 2011

National Jukebox from LOC

The Library of Congress recently launched the "National Jukebox: Historical Recordings from the Library of Congress."Jukebox, which makes historical sound recordings available to the public free of charge. The Jukebox includes recordings from the collections of the LOC Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation and other contributing libraries and archives. Recordings in the Jukebox were issued on record labels now owned by Sony Music Entertainment, which has granted LOC a gratis license to stream acoustical recordings. Currently, the Jukebox includes more than 10,000 recordings made by the Victor Talking Machine Company between 1901 and 1925. According to the LOC, Jukebox content will be increased regularly, with additional Victor recordings and acoustically recorded titles made by other Sony-owned U.S. labels.
You can browse the contents in a variety of ways, including by language, place, label, date, composer, lyricist, performer and genre. The collection includes recordings of vocal music, instrumental music, as well as spoken recordings.
According to the LOC site, "The goal of the Jukebox is to present to the widest audience possible early commercial sound recordings, offering a broad range of historical and cultural documents as a contribution to education and lifelong learning.  These selections are presented as part of the record of the past. They are historical documents which reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. The Library of Congress does not endorse the views expressed in these recordings, which may contain content offensive to users."
Here's an example of a 1906 recording of "Home Sweet Home."

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