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.
As noted in one of a series of blog posts he wrote during his internship, Abraham worked on researching the Archive's phonograph collection to help further the information we currently hold about the machines in this collection.
Following on from the launch of this new online resource, I am also very pleased to announce that the Archive will be holding its first ever listening party on October 17th at 8pm. This will allow students and other members of the Stanford community to hear these phonographs in person. Following a short introduction, attendees will be invited to flick through boxes of duplicate 78rpm records, dating from approximately 1900-1940, to select the ones they would like to hear played on one of the phonographs. Further information about this event is available on the Stanford Events website.