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.