No matter how catchy the new songs on the radio can be, there’s nothing like hearing the voices of the greats like Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. Or the classic, big band sounds of Glenn Miller and Louis Armstrong. Especially when they’re recorded on vintage vinyl.
Unfortunately, some pieces of music history have not been available to the public since their initial release. That is, until now.
Thanks to this cool site, you can listen to and enjoy your favorite classic hits whenever, wherever, for free. That’s right! You’ll be able to download some of the rarest sounds and songs ever to be recorded, with the 78 RPM record collection.
What is archive.org?
Founded by computer engineer and entrepreneur, Brewster Kahle, archive.org is a non-profit library that contains millions of free books, movies, music, websites and much more. The site has been collecting and archiving since the 1990s.
Kahle is best known for selling his technology to industry giants like Amazon and AOL, but he wished to pursue a much different endeavor with archive.com and the Wayback Machine. His goal was to create an archive of web content so anyone can access it for free and without restriction. A goal that he was able to meet.
In 2017, the Boston Public Library (BPL) announced its success in transferring rare and vital holdings from its sound archive collection to the Internet Archive platform (archive.org). Upon making the transfer, archive.org digitized, preserved and finally made each recording/sound available to the public.
The result is an online library that contains a 78 RPM record collection, which is available for play and download free of charge.
What you’ll find on archive.org
The recordings themselves span a multitude of genres, ranging from classical, pop, rock, jazz and even opera. Duke Ellington’s orchestra at Carnegie Hall. Sammy Kaye Plays Irving Berlin. Benny Goodman’s greatest hits. They can all be found and downloaded for free from the 78 RPM collection.
These recordings have never been released into circulation and were held in storage for decades. They were not documented, nor accessible to the public.
By partnering with Internet Archive, Boston Public Libraries audio collection can now be heard by new audiences of researchers, history buffs and music lovers across the globe.
Visit archive.org to check out this wonderful collection of gems today. It’s also available through an app for both iOS and Android.