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Recorded Sound Section--Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division



Music Recordings
Early Recording Stars
arrow graphicMiscellaneous Music Collections
Opera and Classical Music
Library of Congress Concerts
Drama and Literature Recordings
The Spoken Word




Miscellaneous Music Collections

The acquisition in 1992 of the Altshuler Collection of nearly 250,000 78-rpm discs of American jazz and pre-World War II popular music significantly expanded the division's offerings in jazz and blues. Bessie Smith (1894-1937), Mildred Bailey (1907-1951), Clara Smith (1894-1935), Edna White, and Bertha “Chippie” Hill (1905-1950) [picture] are just a few of the women who are heard in this collection. Many women performers are also featured on rare 78-rpm “race records,” a term that companies in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s used to describe recordings made for the African American market. An inventory of the Altshuler Collection, combined with several other more recently acquired collections, is searchable by name, song title, and label name and number in SONIC.

Other collections that feature many of the great female jazz, pop, and blues vocalists and instrumentalists are the previously discussed AFRTS Collection, which contains rare, otherwise unissued performances; the NBC Radio Collection, which also contains unpublished musical broadcasts; the Newport Jazz Festival recordings that are part of the Voice of America Collection; and the Wally Heider Collection of big-band and West Coast jazz.

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