Internet Archive: Boston Public Library’s 78rpm Records Come to the Internet: Reformatting the Boston Public Library Sound Archives. “Following eighteen months of work, more than 50,000 78rpm record ‘sides’ from the Boston Public Library’s sound archives have now been digitized and made freely available online by the Internet Archive.” I listened to a Cab Calloway song from 1946 (“Hey Now, Hey Now” if you care) and while it did have pops and crackles I was surprised at how good the sound quality was.
A tip o’ the nib to Penny C., who tipped me to this great announcement from Boston Public Library: Boston Public Library Transfers Sound Archives Collection to Internet Archive for Digitization, Preservation, and Public Access. “Boston Public Library has approved the transfer of significant holdings from its Sound Archives Collection to the Internet Archive, a nonprofit digital library offering permanent access to historical collections for researchers, historians, and the general public. This project will catalog and digitize a major component of the BPL’s Sound Archives Collection, which will be available where rights allow to all for free online upon the project’s completion. The BPL Sound Archives Collection contains the Library’s collection of non-circulating commercial sound recordings in a variety of historical formats, including 78 rpms and LPs. The collection includes American popular music of many genres, including classical, pop, rock, jazz, and opera from the early 1900s on the 78 rpms and through the 1980s on the LPs. The collection has remained in its current state for several decades, in storage, uncataloged and inaccessible to the public.”
Congratulations to the Boston Public Library for its 100,000 item milestone! “Boston Public Library recently added its 100,000th digitized item to Digital Commonwealth, providing access to digital resources of cultural heritage organizations throughout Massachusetts. Collections in Digital Commonwealth.org include thousands of images, documents, and sound recordings from member institutions which are openly accessible to researchers, students, and the intellectually curious.”