By: Jennifer Hong - Staff Writer
Published: May 18, 2021

Library Of Congress National Jukebox

Library Of Congress National Jukebox - You don’t have to drop any coin to get the National Jukebox to play. Today the Library of Congress and Sony Music Entertainment announced the launch of what’s being billed as “the largest collection of historical recordings ever made publicly available online.” It’s a new website providing access to more than 10-thousand historical recordings for free on a stream-only basis.

The Library of Congress National Jukebox won’t have any downloads. It covers the first quarter of the twentieth century and includes music, poetry, political speeches and other spoken word recordings. Right now, it only includes recordings made by the Victor Talking Machine Company, which Sony controls.

The project is also a collaboration with the University of California, Santa Barbara - and its Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Records - which is helping to create a searchable database for every recording in the National Jukebox.

You can find albums by Title, Artist, Genre, Place (where the audio was recorded) or Date Range. A search of “1901″ (the earliest recordings in the Jukebox) could lead you to the Haydn Quartet singing, “The Owl and the Pussycat,” from September of that year. They sound the same as they did more than 100 years ago.

“This represents a strong step in the Library’s efforts to return out-of-circulation recordings to public access. Sony Music’s commitment to making its recordings more accessible is unprecedented. We will seek additional donors and contributors in an effort to develop the most comprehensive website of historic sound recordings and related interpretive content,” Gene DeAnna, the head of the Library’s Recorded Sound Section, said in a statement.


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