Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project
The Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project is a free digital collection maintained by the University of California, Santa Barbara
University of California, Santa Barbara
The University of California, Santa Barbara, commonly known as UCSB or UC Santa Barbara, is a public research university and one of the 10 general campuses of the University of California system. The main campus is located on a site in Goleta, California, from Santa Barbara and northwest of Los...

 Libraries with streaming and downloadable versions of over 10,000 phonograph cylinder
Phonograph cylinder
Phonograph cylinders were the earliest commercial medium for recording and reproducing sound. Commonly known simply as "records" in their era of greatest popularity , these cylinder shaped objects had an audio recording engraved on the outside surface which could be reproduced when the cylinder was...

s manufactured between 1893 and the mid 1920s.


The project began in 2002 as a pilot project to test the feasibility of digitizing cylinder recordings on a large scale for preservation and public access and explore issues related to the preservation and digitization of cylinder records. In 2003, the Institute for Museum and Library Services funded the project with a grant for $205,000 and between 2003 and 2005 UCSB library staff cataloged and digitized over 6,000 of the cylinder recordings in the library's collection using an Archéophone
The Archéophone is a modern, electric version of the phonographs and ediphones from the early 20th century. It is specifically designed to transfer phonograph cylinders and other cylinder formats to modern recording media....

, a modern electrical cylinder player designed in France by Henri Chamoux. The website was released to the public on November 16, 2005. Since outside project funding has ended a further 4,000 cylinders have been added to the archive.

Scope of the Collection

The archive consists of a broad range of cylinder records manufactured between 1893 and the mid 1920s. The majority were produced by Edison Records
Edison Records
Edison Records was one of the earliest record labels which pioneered recorded sound and was an important player in the early recording industry.- Early phonographs before commercial mass produced records :...

 in Orange, New Jersey
Orange, New Jersey
The City of Orange is a city and township in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township population was 30,134...

, but the collection also contains cylinders produced by the Columbia Phonograph Co., Indestructible Records and other companies. The majority of the cylinders in the collection are music and include band recordings, popular songs, vaudeville
Vaudeville was a theatrical genre of variety entertainment in the United States and Canada from the early 1880s until the early 1930s. Each performance was made up of a series of separate, unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill...

, opera arias, and music for solo instruments such as banjo
In the 1830s Sweeney became the first white man to play the banjo on stage. His version of the instrument replaced the gourd with a drum-like sound box and included four full-length strings alongside a short fifth-string. There is no proof, however, that Sweeney invented either innovation. This new...

, violin
The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

 and accordion
The accordion is a box-shaped musical instrument of the bellows-driven free-reed aerophone family, sometimes referred to as a squeezebox. A person who plays the accordion is called an accordionist....

, but the archive also contains speeches, comedic monologues and home recordings.

The archive currently is just the cylinders in the collection of the UCSB Libraries. Other libraries, including the Library of Congress
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the research library of the United States Congress, de facto national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. Located in three buildings in Washington, D.C., it is the largest library in the world by shelf space and...

 and Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green State University
Bowling Green State University, often referred to as Bowling Green or BGSU, is a public, coeducational research university located in Bowling Green, Ohio, United States. The institution was granted a charter in 1910 by the State of Ohio as part of the Lowry Bill, which also established Kent State...

, have contributed cylinders to the project for preservation and digitization as have private collectors. The Project accepts donations of cylinders but at present does not add digital files of cylinders from other collections, the one exception being cylinders in the collection of John Levin.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.