The Internet Archive 78 RPM Records Archive is now Online

Want to listen to the music of your parents or grandparents? You can now do so, thanks to the Internet Archive. The Great 78 Project is a new project by the Internet Archive to preserve 78 rpm records that has released about 26,000 records as of today. One new digitized 78 rpm record is being added to the online collection every 10 minutes. More than 200,000 records are expected to be available online when the project is completed. In fact, you can even add your collection of 78 RPM records as well.

Disclaimer: Your taste in music will dictate the usefulness of this collection for you.

You can play the music online or else download any of the records to your computer and save them for later use. Downloads are available in a number of file formats including MP3 and M3U. Images of most of the records are also available.

For example, you can listen to blues legend Muddy Waters singing “I Don’t Know Why” recorded in 1954 at http://bit.ly/2usK8y0.

Another Disclaimer: I love the music of some of the old-time blues singers. I am listening to lots of music from The Great 78 Project as I write this article.

78 rpm records were published between about 1898 to the 1950s. The digitized copies of the original 78 rpm records preserve imperfections and the surface noise of the recordings. The recordings were released mostly on Shellac, a fragile predecessor to the LP.

The Internet Archive 78 RPM Records Archive collection may be found by starting at: https://archive.org/details/78rpm. Use the “Search this Collection” box on that page to quickly find what you are looking for,

8 Comments

This is really neat. Thanks!!!

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Good listening ahead…

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Oh wow! My entire record collection was lost many years ago. Blues and jazz and all the music of the 20s, 30s, 40s and into the 50s is still dear to my heart. Josh White was a favorite (and a personal friend). I’ve always blamed Elvis and the Beatles for ruining it all. Having this collection brings memories flooding back and tears to my eyes. Thank you!

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Terrific site. I work with a lot of musicians who perform for Nursing Homes Swing, our nonprofit that brings live music to nursing/assisted living residents who love the music from this era. This will be a great resource for them. Thanks, Dick.

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Love, love this! Thanks, Dick.

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Dick, I haven’t even gone to the site yet but it sounds fantastic. Can’t wait to check it out when I get home. Thank you for all the exposure to different, new things genealogy related and info on interesting, useful things to check out. All your work means more fun for me – thanks again – keep it up!

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They even have quite a number of Theatre Organ records and the lossless FLAC format to download is great (better than any mp3 file).

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While I have been collecting folk records for almost 60 years, I have almost 5,000, to run into a place where I can listen, AND DOWNLOAD FOR FREE, some of the old time treasures is absolutely fantastic. Thanks for all you do, Dick.,

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