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Category: Recorded Sound

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What We’re Reading Now: Recent Additions to the Reference Collection in RSRC

Posted by: Karen Fishman

This blog post was co-written with Jan McKee, Reference Librarian, Recorded Sound Section, Library of Congress. The Recorded Sound Research Center not only provides access to the Library’s sound recordings but it also maintains a collection of reference books that support materials in the collection. These books include discographies, bio-discographies, directories, histories, and technical works …

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You Won’t BELIEVE What They Said About Us!

Posted by: Mike Mashon

The National Audio-Visual Conservation Center has garnered a fair amount of media attention over the years and 2014 was no exception. Here’s a selection of print and broadcast stories from last year that, taken together, provide a good overview of who we are and what we do. The announcement of new additions to the National …

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The Waters Were “Boiling with Light”

Posted by: Bryan Cornell

So pioneer ecologist and deep-sea diver Dr. William Beebe described the scene surrounding his diving bell as he and his partner, Otis Barton, peered into the depths a half mile below the waters near Bermuda in the fall of 1932. The dive, which reached a depth of 2,200 feet, was the deepest a human had ever ventured beneath the …

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Scrap for Victory!

Posted by: Karen Fishman

This blog post was co-written with Jan McKee, Reference Librarian, Recorded Sound Section, Library of Congress. During World War II scrap drives were a popular way for everyone to contribute to the war effort. By recycling unused or unwanted metal for example, the government could build ships, airplanes and other equipment needed to fight the …

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New Year’s Eve with NBC

Posted by: Karen Fishman

Within the Library’s NBC Radio History Collection there is an amazing and comprehensive card catalog of network programs, performers and guests from 1930 to 1960. The 8 x 5 inch cards give a complete history of commercial and sustaining programs (programs without a sponsor and with no advertising), performers and artists, and “radio personalities”  including …

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Our Favorite Scrooge

Posted by: Karen Fishman

Of all the roles I’ve done, the one I’d like best to be remembered for is Scrooge. It is unquestionably one of my favorites. Lionel Barrymore, Dec. 21, 1947. The New York Times. (Interview with Dorothy O’Leary). When MGM Records released A Christmas Carol in 1947, Lionel Barrymore had been playing Ebenezer Scrooge for twelve …

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Gargantuan Graphophone Records

Posted by: Bryan Cornell

At some point time around the year 2008 the last physical audio format, the cd, seems to have nearly winked out of existence. Its replacement? An army of wispy, intangible files including mp3, .aiff, wave, ogg vorbis, flac and many others.  Of course, many of these formats produce very high-quality audio, and I can now pack a collection of …

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It’s scandalous! It’s immoral! It’s the “Turkey Trot”!

Posted by: Karen Fishman

This blog post was co-written with Jan McKee, Reference Librarian, Recorded Sound Section, Library of Congress. This year, after Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family, why not burn off some of those calories and thwart those tryptophans by dancing the Turkey Trot instead of sleeping on the living room sofa?  This vigorous dance was developed …

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The Accidental Rock Star

Posted by: Bryan Cornell

Last night the Library of Congress honored veteran songwriter and performer Billy Joel with its coveted Gershwin Prize for  Popular Song. The Library of Congress awards the prize annually to a composer or performer whose lifetime contributions exemplify the standard of excellence associated with George and Ira Gershwin. It’s not entirely coincidental that the Library has also just uploaded a revealing interview with Joel …