Internet Archive: How the Internet Archive is Digitizing LPs to Preserve Generations of Audio. “Since all of the information on an LP is printed, the digitization process must begin by cataloging data. High-resolution scans are taken of the cover art, the disc itself and any inserts or accompanying materials. The record label, year recorded, track list and other metadata are supplemented and cross-checked against various external databases.”
Internet Archive: Correct Metadata is Hard: a Lesson from the Great 78 Project. “We have been digitizing about 8,000 78rpm record sides each month and now have 122,000 of them done. These have been posted on the net and over a million people have explored them. We have been digitizing, typing the information on the label, and linking to other information like discographies, databases, reviews and the like. Volunteers, users, and internal QA checkers have pointing out typos, and we decided to go back over a couple of month’s metadata and found problems.”
The Internet Archive: Please Donate 78rpm Records to the Internet Archive’s Great 78 Project. “Good news: we have funding to preserve at least another 250,000 sides of 78rpm records, and we are looking for donations to digitize and physically preserve. We try to do a good job of digitizing and hosting the recordings and then thousands of people listen, learn, and enjoy these fabulous recordings.”
Lifehacker: How to Digitize Vinyl Records Without a Record Player. “Digitizing vinyl is a lot harder than ripping a CD. An external CD drive costs $26 on Amazon; a record player with a digital output costs $250 or more. Plus you have to use special software, specify the beginning and end of each track, write out all the metadata, and make sure the record plays smoothly. Or you can get someone else to do it for you. Here’s how.” And if you DO have a turntable and you want to rip a LOT of records, let me reup DJ Kippax’s crazy deep dive on album ripping.
DJ Kippax: How to bulk rip lots of vinyl (and not go crazy). “This record ripping guide is useful even if you’re not a DJ. The methods I outline will work for anyone who has the problem of digitising a large collection of filthy vinyls whilst trying maintain good sound quality.” A super deep dive from Mr. Kippax.
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.
Dani Gal has created quite a collection of spoken-word political vinyl records at https://historical-records.com/ . From the about page: “Historical Records is an ongoing project of collectin commercially released vinyl records that document political events of the twentieth century. The collection contains over 700 LP’s of speeches and interviews of those who were in power and others who objected this power, of wars and peace agreements, human rights struggles and other radio broadcasts, of the events that shaped history from the invention of the phonograph to the fall of the Berlin wall.” Worst timesink I’e seen in a loooong time….