A friend sent us the link to the US national repository for “heritage” music and early recordings — from the dawn of the recorded audio age. These Library of Congress recordings are generally all around 100 years old. They’ve been digitized – a massive undertaking, and, given their age and the sound quality of early recordings, a challenge. As you’d expect, this is really vintage stuff, but I doubt it can be found elsewhere in the public domain.
Quotes from the Library of Congress web page
The Library of Congress presents the National Jukebox, which makes historical sound recordings available to the public free of charge. The Jukebox includes recordings from the extraordinary collections of the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation and other contributing libraries and archives.
The National Jukebox debuts featuring more than 10,000 78rpm disc sides issued by the Victor Talking Machine Company between 1900 and 1925.
These selections are presented as part of the record of the past. They are historical documents which reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. The Library of Congress does not endorse the views expressed in these recordings, which may contain content offensive to users.
Selections I monitored:
- I pagliacci [Victor 3239, 1901]
- Air for G string [Bach, Victor Herbert's Orchestra, Victor 70047, 1911]
- Waiting for the Robert E. Lee [Victor 16511, 1912]
- Temptation rag [Victor 16511, 1910]