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The Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at UCSB
November 23, 2005 4:35 PM   Subscribe

The Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara is a digital collection of over 5000 digitized cylinder recordings from the turn of the 20th century. Cylinders were the first commercially-produced sound recordings. The UCSB collection is quite large and can be streamed or downloaded. The tracks range from instrumental and vocal music to "old-timey music" to vaudeville routine (including some which are quite offensive by modern standards- see this disclaimer at the bottom of this page). For the casual listener, try Cylinder radio, which is a stream of some highlights of the collection.
posted by JMOZ (18 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
I would have posted this before it got slashdotted, but I am a new member and couldn't post this before now, so I apologize for the slow servers.

Also, my wife is indirectly involved in this project (I checked with Matt before posting because of that), so if you have any general questions, let me know.
posted by JMOZ at 4:36 PM on November 23, 2005


This is wonderful. I searched for Indian and came up with a passel of wonderful corny old songs about Indians. And I love it that the site allows MP3 downloads of every song!
posted by LarryC at 4:48 PM on November 23, 2005


I second--what a great post! I'll be digging through here for a while....
posted by LooseFilter at 4:52 PM on November 23, 2005


Interesting project, I could see this being a great source of material for sampling.

I can't help but mention that I always get a kick out of watching this mishap[wmv] from TechTV.
posted by FissionChips at 5:03 PM on November 23, 2005


*drools*

What a wonderful thing. Thank you!
posted by frykitty at 5:07 PM on November 23, 2005


nice find, dude.
posted by jonmc at 5:07 PM on November 23, 2005


(including some which are quite offensive by modern standards- see this disclaimer at the bottom of this page).

For more information, see Ragtime, Cakewalks, Coon Songs and Vaudeville...
posted by y2karl at 5:14 PM on November 23, 2005


Interesting project, I could see this being a great source of material for sampling.

I can't help but mention that I always get a kick out of watching this mishap[wmv] from TechTV.
posted by FissionChips at 8:03 PM EST on November 23 [!]

LOL!!!!

They guy so wants to say "oh fuck" but the only alternative he can come up with is "oh....................shit". Comedy platinum. I'm still LOL!!
posted by darkmatter at 5:29 PM on November 23, 2005


Oh my stars, how this is going to be sampled... (Many thanks!)
posted by milquetoast at 5:32 PM on November 23, 2005


That mishap is great.

The host could of done a better job of picking up the pieces.
posted by bigmusic at 5:39 PM on November 23, 2005


Good catch, fissionchips. I was looking for that video to post here -- "don't let this guy near this".
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 5:50 PM on November 23, 2005


For those who are going to sample this- I'd love to hear the results if that's possible....
posted by JMOZ at 5:54 PM on November 23, 2005


Thanks, this is great.
posted by marxchivist at 6:20 PM on November 23, 2005


And I love it that the site allows MP3 downloads of every song!

I guess I'm missing something, where's the downloads?
posted by marxchivist at 6:35 PM on November 23, 2005


Marxchivist: On the individual song pages, under the Audio heading.
posted by LarryC at 7:13 PM on November 23, 2005


This is awesome, JMOZ -- thanks! My grandmother had a collection of cylinder players -- she must have had fifteen of the things. I wonder what happened to them? Sigh.
posted by trip and a half at 8:10 PM on November 23, 2005


try Cylinder radio

Great link! The sound quality is better than I would have expected*; I guess their cleanup efforts pay off (though I wonder if there's controversy about doing this among archivists.)

Also if seeing this sort of thing in action turns you on, the exhibit space of Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is built on catwalks surrounding their extensive glass-walled archive/library. You can see people on the other side of the wall working with old disks, though if they're digitizing the whole collection or just letting researchers at it I don't know.

*Though the fact that I'm playing them on a system equipped with this and these probably doesn't hurt! :) (via)
posted by Opposite George at 8:24 PM on November 23, 2005


Wonderful stuff. Warms my heart. Thank you!
posted by ParisParamus at 8:49 PM on November 23, 2005


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