Historical Sound Recordings

About Historical Sound Recordings

The Yale Collection of Historical Sound Recordings (HSR) preserves and makes available for study historical recordings of important performers in the fields of Western classical music, jazz, American musical theater, drama, literature, and history (including oratory).  Founded by Mr. and Mrs. Laurence C. Witten II, with the gift of their collection of early vocal recordings devoted to styles and practices of nineteenth-century singing, HSR is considered among the finest collections of its kind in the world. Since being donated to Yale, HSR has grown significantly, now numbering more than 275,000 recordings in all of the aforementioned genres and a variety of formats, including 78s, LPs, audio tapes, and CDs.  The combined collections of HSR document performance practice and the spoken word from the beginning of the recording era (ca. 1890) to the present day.  The collection also holds a large library of related printed material providing information about composers, performers, and the recording industry, including discographical data useful for locating and dating recordings.  Most of the commercially-produced items in the collection have been cataloged in the library's online catalog, Orbis.  Finding aids have been prepared for much of the rest of the collection, including non-commercial recordings and archival materials.  For questions about HSR, or to gain access to its collections, please contact Mark Bailey (mark.bailey@yale.edu), Head, Historical Sound Recordings.
Last modified: 
Tuesday, December 23, 2014 - 11:27am