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.

Richard Warren Jr: Preserving our Heritage of Recorded Sound

[Photo of Richard Warren]

During his 45 year curatorial tenure, Richard Warren Jr. significantly expanded and enhanced Yale’s collection of cylinders, 78s, LPs, tape media, CDs, and related material, making Yale the home to one of the world’s largest and most prominent institutional repositories of recorded sound. While he worked with thousands of recordings in his lifetime, Richard nevertheless had his distinctive favorites. This often would become apparent while he was making digital transfers of original recordings, as he would pause, reflect, and comment on what touched him the most about certain renditions.

Spoken Arts Collection

Album Cover for Scene de la Vie Francaise

Founded in 1956 by Dr. Luce and Arthur Klein, Spoken Arts, Inc. was one of the first companies to record the spoken word.


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