Update March 2016 - Antique Phonograph Monthly is now online! I'm still seeking a few issues of New Amberola Graphic to wrap that up, but I've begun scanning Talking Machine Review, and am looking for ~30 issues to complete the archive. Please click the links above to see what issues are needed and email me if you'd be willing to lend, sell or trade. Thanks!Dear friends, there has never been a better time to be interested in historical audio! In the years since I began writing 'Dinosaur Discs', the American audio archives & preservation community has formalized a plan for preserving our recorded history, a revolutionary new technology has animated the origins of sound recording technology, and massive online archives like the Library of Congress' National Jukebox and UCSB's Cylinder Audio Archive (not to mention YouTube) have represented early recordings with depth, breadth and style.
As I've developed this hobby into a career, my perspectives and priorities have shifted. I've realized my initial essays on archiving and preservation, copyright, and music history are pretty outmoded and I've shifted my focus to a problem that I think is difficult, but solvable -
Collectors' magazines and journals, in my opinion, represent the primary body of research into the early years of recording technology and industry, artists and repertoire. They're not available in academic databases, and physical copies are rare in libraries. Because libraries don't typically 'ILL' serials, the few copies that are in libraries remain equally inaccessible unless you happen to live in New York. Without indices or citations, many researchers don't even know what they're missing!
If collectors, librarians and publishers would cooperate to make these resources accessible, the effort required to solve this problem would pale in comparison with the benefits. In the cases in which original publishers are unavailable or disinterested, I think librarians and collectors should consider this type of republication not just a right, but an obligation! If you've got resources, expertise, or even just time to help me solve this problem, please get in touch.