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Music and Spoken word
Inventing Entertainment: The Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies features 341 motion pictures, 81 disc sound recordings, and other related materials, such as photographs and original magazine articles.
Variety Stage Sound Recordings and Motion Pictures
Music and Sketches
The 61 motion pictures in the Variety Stage Sound Recordings and Motion Pictures include animal acts, burlesque, dance, comic sketches, dramatic excerpts, dramatic sketches, physical culture acts, and tableaus. The films represented date from copyrights of 1897 to 1920. Although not actually filmed on a theatrical stage, they sought to recreate the atmosphere of a theater performance by showing the types of vaudeville acts and performers that were popular at the time.
The Joe Smith Collection
More than 25 years ago, retired music executive Joe Smith accomplished a Herculean feat—he got more than 200 celebrated singers, musicians and industry icons to talk about their lives, music, experiences and contemporaries. In 2012 Smith donated this treasure trove of unedited sound recordings to the nation's library.
Free Music Archive
Free Music Archive is a website devoted to distribution and curation of rights-free music. The Library of Congress has archived this website as part of its Web Cultures Web Archive, which includes sites documenting the creation and sharing of emergent cultural traditions on the web.
In January 2010 Dyann Arthur, independent folklorist, musicologist and Berklee College of Music alumni, founded MusicBox Project, a non-profit corporation in the state of Washington, whose mission it is to document and preserve our musical history while advancing music education and occupational avenues of creation and performance. Beginning in 2009, Dyann and Rick Arthur travelled through America meeting and interviewing women musicians of all ages and career levels. “Americana Women” was conceived as a three-pronged research approach: 1) an oral history interview; 2) an acoustic performance at the time and place of the interview; 3) a public performance.
Tony Schwartz Collection
Radio, Conversations, and Found sounds
Considered a master of the electronic media, Tony Schwartz changed the face of radio and television advertising by creating socially conscientious campaigns such as the nation’s first anti-smoking ad, which led the tobacco industry to stop advertising on television and radio. Those and other materials are part of the vast archives of sound recordings and moving images created and collected by the renowned New York City sound documentarian, producer, author and teacher.
American English Dialect Recordings
Interviews, Oral histories, and Speeches
The Center for Applied Linguistics Collection contains 118 hours of recordings documenting North American English dialects. The recordings include speech samples, linguistic interviews, oral histories, conversations, and excerpts from public speeches. They were drawn from various archives, and from the private collections of fifty collectors, including linguists, dialectologists, and folklorists.
The National Screening Room
The National Screening Room showcases the riches of the Library's vast moving image collection, designed to make otherwise unavailable movies, both copyrighted and in the public domain, freely accessible to the viewers worldwide.
Over 10,000 recordings coming in 2022
Music and Spoken word
On January 1, 2022, all sound recordings published prior to 1923 will enter the public domain and will be free to use and reuse. This will be the first time ever sound recordings will enter the public domain due to copyright expiration.