The Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound has recently finished processing the William C. Lynch Dennis Brain Collection. This collection is believed to be the largest of its kind in North America, if not the most comprehensive and organized collection of recorded music relating to the British horn player Dennis Brain (1921-1957), anywhere in the world. A full itemized finding aid for the collection is now available online.
The Tom Law San Francisco Bay Area Punk and Rock Handbill and Poster Collection was recently acquired and is housed in Special Collections, Green Library. It contains approximately 1400 original posters of Punk Rock Band performances in the San Francisco Bay area.
The Archive of Recorded Sound recently held its first ever listening party on October 17th. We were thrilled to welcome over 40 attendees to the event here at the Archive, who were invited to flick through multiple boxes of duplicate 78rpm records, dating from approximately 1900-1940, to select those they would like to hear played on our 1925 Victrola Credenza, just one example from our magnificent phonograph collection here at the Archive which dates from 1904-1930. More details about this collection, including images and demonstration videos, are now available on our website.
The Stanford Media Preservation Lab (SMPL) has many partnerships on campus and the recent move provided a great opportunity to spend some time working in the audio room of one of those partners, the Archive of Recorded Sound (ARS). Several recordings were digitized and documented while there. Two projects completed of interest are the digitization of several recordings made by the a cappella group the Stanford Mendicants and the transfer of cassette tapes from the book and audio set: Photochemistry of Organic Molecules (POM) held by the Media & Microtext Center.
Wagner in his century
2013 marks the 200th birthday of musical giant Richard Wagner. In commemoration, the Music Library offers on display a selection of 19th century items related to Wagner, including an 1860 edition of the overture to Rienzi, his first successful opera; the sheet music for “Les deux grenadiers” (1843), an early song Wagner published in the hope of making a name for himself in Paris (he failed); the dedication page for the score of the Ring cycle (1875), which salutes Wagner’s champion King Ludwig II of Bavaria; and Richard Wagner's Lohengrin und Tannhäuser (1852), by Franz Liszt, commentaries on Wagner’s “système dramatique”, his approach to composition in which the interplay of words and music supports a deeper quality of expression in service to the drama. Through December .
In addition to its extensive audiovisual and print collections, the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound also maintains a collection of audio equipment that highlights the development of playback and recording since the turn of the 20th century. At the center of this collection is a magnificent set of historic phonographs, ranging from a 1901 Edison Home A cylinder phonograph to a 1926 Victrola Credenza. These machines practically demonstrate the rapid changes in audio playback formats and machinery that occurred during the first quarter of the 20th century.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of Abraham Tewolde, our Stanford University Libraries 1st-generation intern this summer, details and images of notable examples from this collection, along with demonstration videos, can now be found on the Archive's website.