Music Library & Sound Recordings Archives
Collection Development Policy - Sound Recordings Archives
This policy is arranged by genres and prioritized by the collection’s commitment to the University and faculty needs. Priorities also relate to collections that exist in other institutions and their accessibility to scholars and their needs.
First priorities represent comprehensive collection building activity related directly to those genres treated in University courses. In most instances BGSU is already the most comprehensive or the only existing academic collection of certain genres, such as rock, disco, comedy, and kiddie.
Second priorities represent those genres that relate to courses and research at BGSU but only on a lower request level. In some instances other institutional collections already exist with similar holdings (see Appendix A). For this priority BGSU does not seek comprehensiveness in these genres but still collects recordings by major artists, key performances, and important compositions (songs, etc.). In some instances BGSU still has greater or the only holdings than other institutions in certain genres, however the recorded output of these genres is much too formidable to collect comprehensively.
Third priorities represent genres which relate only tangentially to those of the first two priorities and do not require anything but very selective representation of recordings. Many times key artists or titles cannot be identified so only a sample of such genres is collected.
Exclusions represent that material which is not included in the collection under any circumstances. Usually another agency at the University assumes such services or collection supervision. Or, in some instances the method for carrying the sound is impractical for the Library to assume or does not serve the subject needs of those genres identifies as high priority.
Recordings priority by format
A. First priority
1. 33 1/3-rpm disc (1948-to date; this speed was the primary sound carrier for full length recordings from 1948 to the mid 1980s).
2. Compact disc recordings (early 1980s to date this format was the secondary format up to the late 1980s but then became the primary format over the LP format by the 1990s; recordings presently owned in LP format are not currently being replaced by CD recordings, however new recordings are now being acquired exclusively on CD when possible).
3. 45-rpm disc (1949-to date; this speed was the primary sound carrier for popular single sound recordings from 1949 to the late 1980s).
4. 78-rpm disc (1896-ca. 1958; this speed was the primary sound carrier for popular single recordings up to about 1954, tapering off until its demise about 1958).
B. Second priority
1. Compact disc (key recordings already owned on LP format but represent MAJOR artists or are historical compilations are being acquired here).
C. Third priority
1. 8-track tape.
3. 16 2/3 rpm disc.
4. DVDs of music.
5. Transcription or instantaneous disc recordings.
6. Open reel, quarter-inch, audio tapes (commercial releases of very limited quantity included as samples; in-house recordings retained with old-time radio shows and the BGSU Living Archives with air shots and interviews).
1. Cylinder (1898-1929).
2. Piano rolls
Recordings priority by subject
A. First priority (BGSU courses in Popular Culture, American Culture, Theatre, Speech, Music, Sociology, English, Communications, Ethnic Studies, and Applied Human Ecology).
1. Popular music (English language).
2. Rock music (English language).
3. Dance-orchestra, big band.
5. Rhythm and blues, soul, black urban contemporary, rap.
7. Musicals, film music, television music.
8. Vaudeville, burlesque, comedy, wit and humor.
9. Ethnic music (Cajun, zydeco, calypso, reggae, Latino, Hispanic-American, Tex-Mex, klezmer)
10. Kiddie (ie: mass media created stories and characterizations, presented by personalities in the popular genre).
B. Second priority (BGSU courses in Music, Poplar Culture, American Culture, Ethnic Studies, English, Speech, History, Political Science, Communications, Theatre).
1. Popular music (non-English language).
2. Rock music (non-English language).
3. Old time, country, bluegrass, western swing.
4. Gospel, spirituals, contemporary Christian, carols
5. Folk music (Anglo-American, Afro-American, and other forms existing in the U.S. that are influenced by foreign cultures)
6. Radio shows (plays, disc jockey, etc.).
7. Popular dance forms (polkas, square dances, etc.).
C. Third priority (BGSU courses in Music, Popular Culture, American Culture, Canadian Studies).
1. Commercial advertising jingles, presentations, public service, etc.
2. Spoken literature/English language (poetry, prose, drama)
4. Documentary, interviews, success testimonials, and instruction.
5. Sound effects
6. Non-pop musical forms (waltzes, marches, etc.).
1. Classical and art music (except for 78-rpm singles and “milestone” albums).
2. Jazz (except for 78-rpm singles and “milestone” albums).
3. Electronic and chance music.
4. K thru 12 educational material.
5. Language instruction.
Support material (non-recordings) by priority
A. First priority
1. Major and specialized periodical titles about recordings, the record trade, and popular music forms.
2. Books on popular music and the record trade (critical monographs, discographies, biographies, historical discourses).
3. Promotional photographs, biographical clippings, pictures, etc. on individual pop performers and groups.
4. Record company catalogs, brochures, and used record sale and auction lists.
5. LP inner sleeves and 45 and 78-rpm record outer sleeves (one example of each design change).
6. Popular sheet music and song folios.
B. Second priority
1. Examples of record packaging and storage (storage folders, carrying cases, and racks).
2. Record release notices.
C. Third Priority
1. Record promotion items (in-store stand-ups, ceiling-hanging displays, three-dimensional gimmicks, etc.).
2. Historical record preservation paraphernalia and supplies
Appendix A: A Selected List of Institutional Sound Archives in the United States
Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound: the New York Public Library
Recordings of all genres, but having strengths in classical music forms. Includes virtually all forms of recorded medium.
William Ransom Hogan Archive of New Orleans Jazz; Tulane University
Resource for New Orleans jazz research, including oral histories, recorded music, photographs, film, sheet music, and orchestrations
Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive: Syracuse University
Formats from the earliest experimental recordings on tinfoil to modern digital material; also specialize in preservation, digitization, and restoration of deteriorating recordings.
Historical Sound Recordings/American Musical Theatre Collections: Yale University
Music scores, sound recordings, and music research materials, reflecting the centrality of musical performance and scholarship throughout history. It includes scores and parts, books, LP recordings and compact discs (25,000), microfilmed music and manuscripts, photographs, and archival materials.
Archives of African American Music and Culture: Indiana University
A collection of primary and secondary materials on African-American music and culture.
Marr Sound Archives: University of Missouri: Kansas City
Recordings, dating from 1890s up to the 1980s, specializing in historic voices, American popular music, jazz, blues, and country, vintage radio programs, authors reading their own works, and historical classical and operatic recordings.
Performing Arts Collections/Cylinder Digitization and Preservation Project: University of California, Santa Barbara
Digital collection with 7000 cylinder recordings online
Center for Popular Music: Middle Tennessee State University
Recordings, songbooks, and literature promoting the study of American vernacular music
Archive of Recorded Sound: Stanford University
Recordings, scores, sheet music, and personal papers of musicians, many local
Archives of Traditional Music: Indiana University
Holdings in a wide range of cultural and geographical areas, including both commercial and field recordings of vocal and instrumental music, folktales, interviews, and oral history, as well as videotapes, photographs, and manuscripts.
Southern Folklife Collection: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Archival resource for the study of American folk music and popular culture, especially from the southern musical and oral traditions
Whit Ozier Sound Archive: University of North Texas
78 archive with approximately 130,000 items; also includes original playback equipment. Related material also includes personal papers, scripts of radio programs, printed songs, and photographs.
Institute of Jazz Studies: Rutgers University
Jazz archive with over 100,000 commercial and non-commercial sound recordings, personal papers as well as archives of record companies and jazz-related institutions and organizations spanning from 1920 to the present. Additional materials include photographs, oral histories, books, periodicals, and research files.