More than 48,000 free digitized 78 RPM discs for download

78 RPM It is the acronym used to name the first format of gramophone records. They rotated at a speed of 78 revolutions per minute, and were made of a rigid and brittle material (hardened shellac), so they used to break relatively easily. As a general rule, the discs contained a song recorded on each of its 2 sides.

The 78 RPM record was born together with the creation of the gramophone in 1888, and it was the official support for the first commercial records recorded from 1889 on. Later, with the appearance of the LP and 45 RPM records, the 78 was losing popularity. , until it stopped being mass produced back in 1965.

Given their fragility, it can be difficult to find classic 78 RPM records in good condition. Especially those that have not been reissued in a more modern format. However, there are still small bastions that have been in charge of preserving all this valuable material for future generations.

More than 48,000 Boston Public Library records digitized for streaming and direct download

We are talking about the Boston Public Library, which keeps in its sound archive more than 48,000 78 RPM discs. Disks that have now been digitized and made available to the public completely free of charge by the Internet Archive.

The Boston Public Library's music collection features 78 RPM records from the 1900s through to more modern LPs from the 1980s. Many of these recordings, which had been in a drawer for decades, are now in print. to be available to listen online or download. All this without registration and completely free.

Within this huge collection we can find genres ranging from pop, through jazz, classical music, hillbilly, the first Brass Bands or the opera. Among the available recordings we find songs by famous artists like Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra and Louis Armstrong. Although there is also a lot of material from lesser-known and obscure artists who triumphed with a certain theme in a circumstantial way and then they were lost in oblivion.

A sound library that includes more than 750 record labels, with the first American jazz recordings and the first blues records. A collection that is part of a larger project called 78 Project, dedicated to the conservation, search and discovery of 78 RPM records.

In the file of each album we find a lot of detailed information about the authors and interpreters of the songs, the occasional review and the digitization process. Various audio formats are also offered for direct download: FLAC 24-bit, TIFF, Torrent, VB3 M3U, MP3, and others.

Enter the Boston Public Library's 78 RPM Collection

An impressive collection of historical and informative interest

The Internet Archive website has more than 5 million audio tracks, as, for example, some of the earliest recordings of all time made on Edison's wax cylinders. Although it also has more recent material from other artists, such as the albums of the Grateful Dead from the 60s to the 90s, and many others. Of course, the sound quality fluctuates from the acceptable to the sublime, depending on the state of conservation of the original material.

We can find more content to listen to and download in the contemporary music archive (HERE), and the entire Internet Archive music collection through the following LINK.

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