At a glance

Archive of Recorded Sound

Collections

Collections overview

Established in 1958, the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound was one of the first major collections devoted to the acquisition, preservation, and dissemination of historically and artistically significant sound recordings. Stanford University Libraries recognized early on that these aural documents should be an integral part of a university's scholarly resources. 

The Archive houses more than 350,000 recordings, 5000 film and video sources, and 6000 print and manuscript items. With a number of items dating back to the late 1800s, the earliest years of sound recording, almost every format developed to record sound can be found here: wax cylinders, shellac and vinyl discs. acetate and aluminum transcription discs, magnetic wire recordings, tapes, compact discs, and laser discs. 

An extensive reference collection of books and periodicals, including a wide range of discographies, is maintained on the history and development of the sound recording industry and its major figures. Original record manufacturers' catalogs, liner notes, photographs, and clipping files are also available. 

The Archive also houses and maintains a magnificent collection of original phonographs

Collection highlights

Monterey Jazz Festival logo

Recordings of live performances throughout the history of this enduring American cultural institution.

Gaetano Donizetti. Excerpt from Betly (La capanna svizzera). Original manuscript. 1836. MLM 264

Scores of operas, symphonic works, chamber music, and choral works by major composers from the 17th to 20th centuries.

Privately produced Leopold Auer recording, signed by the artist on June 7, 1920.

The Heifetz Collection features recordings by the violinist and a rare unpublished recording by Leopold Auer.

Yehudi Menuhin

The Menuhin Collection contains many test pressings of Menuhin's performances as a violin soloist.

Mario Ancona

The Mario Ancona Collection includes photographs, memorabilia, sound recordings, and more related to Ancona's career.

Richard Bonelli

The Bonelli Collection includes letters, programs, scores, scrapbooks, recordings, posters, and news clippings.

Ruth and Mario Chamlee in Manon

Tenor Mario Chamlee sang at the leading opera houses in the United States and abroad. His wife Ruth was a soprano and noted singing teacher.

Richard Crooks as Pinkerton

Richard Crooks was a tenor with the Metropolitan Opera Company.

Ted Fagan

This is the personal collection of Theodore Fagan, United Nations translator, author, and music collector.

Kirsten Flagstad

Kirsten Flagstad (1895-1962) was known as the premier Wagnerian soprano of her time.

Richard Finnie and colleagues

Open reel tape recordings made by documentary filmmaker, photographer, ethnographer, and historian Richard Sterling Finnie.

Lehmann  as the Marshallin

Includes correspondence and research notes related to Hickling's discography of Lehmann's performances.

Kronos Quartet (l-r: Hank Dutt, David Harrington, Jeffrey Zeigler, John Sherba)

The Kronos Quartet has donated part of its collection of chamber music to the Music Library.

Anne Parker Wigglesworth, Portrait of Henry Cowell. 1964. Oil on canvas, 92 x 60 cm. Gift of Henry Cowell Coolidge Wigglesworth.

This collection contains Sydney Cowell's donations of published scores and recordings of her husband's music.

A glimpse of The Women's Philharmonic scores, shelved in the Music Reference Room.

From 1981 to 2004, The Women's Philharmonic was a San Francisco-based professional orchestra dedicated to the promotion of women composers, conductors, and performers.

Detail from engraving by P. Mignard.  In Lully, homme d'affaires, propriétaire et musicien : notes et croquis à propos de son hôtel de la rue Sainte-Anne et de son mausolée aux / Radet (1891)

The Lully Archive is a repository of primary sources on microfilm originally gathered in support of publication of the complete works of Jean-Bapti

The Schmidt Collection contains primarily photocopies of original and transcribed music for lute gathered from a variety of libraries and archival

Detail from Danza Tropical (1922)

The collection includes over 100 music manuscripts by Spanish composer Julio de Osma.

Antheil's signature

George Antheil was born on July 8, 1900 in Trenton, New Jersey. He studied briefly with Constantin von Sternberg and Ernest Bloch.

Melinda's Wedding Day, by Goodwin/McCarthy/Piantadosi (c. 1913)

Lucie King Harris, born in Sonoma in 1883, was an arts patron, a philanthropist, and an ardent horsewoman.

Finding aids

Search finding aids for many of our unique collections, available via the Online Archive of California (OAC).