January 11, 2011

GOLDMINE! (via The Other Brother):

Library of Congress gets first big gift of major label music (Nate Anderson, January 10, 2011, Ars Technica)

The largest music company in the world has just given the largest audio-visual gift ever to one of the largest libraries in the world, the US Library of Congress. Universal will donate more than 200,000 master recordings from the 1920s-1940s to the Library, which will make this rare music available to the public over the Web.

The recordings come from Universal's in-house collection and feature the best existing master copies of Bing Crosby singing "White Christmas" in 1947 and Les Paul doing the "Guitar Boogie." The master recordings currently reside on metal and lacquer discs, with some on mono tape, and they feature plenty of material that was never released from such artists as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Louis Armstrong. [...]

The master recordings continue to degrade, so the Library will embark on a large-scale digitization process at its Packard Campus in Virginia. This will result in very high-quality copies of works, some of which have never been digitized before, and the Library plans to put the archive online for free public streaming beginning this spring.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 11, 2011 8:16 PM
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