Boston Public Library’s 78rpm Records Come to the Internet

This won’t help you discover your ancestors but will help you learn about the music they enjoyed. 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.

Art Tatum

I am sitting here listening to It Had to be You by Jazz legend Art Tatum. The fidelity is what you would expect from a 78 rpm record made in 1944. That is, it is definitely low fidelity. However, it is obvious that Art Tatum was a keyboard maestro.

You can learn more about this new Boston Oublic Library’s additions to Archive.org’s collection of old music at http://bit.ly/2V5xVsm while the collection itself may be found at: https://archive.org/details/78rpm_bostonpubliclibrary.

 

Archive.org also has more than 5 million audio recordings available, starting with some of the very first recordings ever made on Edison’s wax cylinders up through more than 13 thousand Grateful Dead recordings from the 1960s through 1990s. You may find a few recordings by other artists in even later years. You  can search the entire music collection by starting at: https://archive.org/details/audio.

2 Comments

Thanks as always! I was hoping this would be a “primary source” sound upgrade over vintage blues compilations as found on CD (for instance) but the original 78s sound very rough, even the sound file versions they chose as “best”. Maybe these were discs checked out to the public by the Library over the years ;-).
I compared a selection of these online files, A/B’ing them with the very same songs from a few blues artists I am familiar that I had already collected from other sources. While vintage blues re-releases (especially in the ’90s) often suffered from heavy-handed noise reduction, they and more recent re-releases sound clearer and more full overall than what the Library is offering. Nevertheless, it’s great to have this collection freely available.

Like

Thanks for sharing, Dick. It’s fun to listen to.

Like

Leave a Reply

Name and email address are required. Your email address will not be published.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <pre> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: