Thomas Edison Record Recordings Digitized for Free Distribution
History’s on-demand playlist has grown significantly with the release of 2,400 Edison sound disc recordings – some recorded by the famous inventor himself – which have been digitized for free listening by the public.
The collection, which has been housed for years at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in West Orange, features many rarities, including never-before-seen press tests that were recorded in New York and European cities between 1910 and 1929.
The digital recordings can be accessed online through the University of California Santa Barbara Library Research Special Collections at its Discography of American Historical Recordings website.
“Edison records document a fascinating era of performance and technology that still interests music historians and audiophiles today,” said National Park Museum curator Jerry Fabris.
“Sharing these historically significant recordings with the public is a perfect fit with the mission of the University of California and the National Park Service,” said David Seubert, curator of the Performing Arts Collection at the University of California and director of the website. ‘registration.
Titles in the Edison database range from a 1910 recording of “William Tell Overture” by the Edison Concert Orchestra to “A personal message to the people of New Zealand by Thomas A. Edison” dated February 11, 1928.
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The cooperative effort between the school and the park service began in 2012 when the park shared its catalog database of textual information about Edison records with the university library.
The university used funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop the complete online discography of Edison Disc Recordings, which now documents more than 14,000 Edison recording sessions that resulted in over 8,000 double-sided discs released .
There are over 7,400 Edison record recordings available for free streaming by the public. Overall, it currently includes information on over 327,000 master recordings made by Victor, Columbia, OKeh, Berliner, Edison, Zonophone, Leeds & Catlin, Brunswick and Decca.
Eleven thousand of the recordings made by Victor and Columbia between 1900 and 1925 can be streamed online. An additional 35,000 masters from Columbia, Okeh, Zonophone and Edison are also available through the university’s streaming player or embedded YouTube links.
Added to the register of National Historic Parks in 2009, West Orange Park preserves Edison’s factory complex, which was built in 1886. His breakthroughs developed there include motion picture camera, silent and sound films, the improvement of sound recordings and phonographs and the alkaline nickel-iron electric accumulator.
William Westhoven is a local reporter for DailyRecord.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.