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Researching a Topic in 4 Easy Steps
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Researching a Topic in Four Easy Steps:

Step 3k: Consider using alternate types of material - Sound Recordings

You might want to use sound recordings (music or spoken word)

The Music Library in Sterling Memorial Library (120 High Street) is the primary location on campus for sound recordings, with two collections.  The Recordings Library is a collection of about 25,000 LPs and CDs designed to support the curriculum and is especially strong in western art music, with holdings in jazz and world music.  The Historical Sound Recordings Collection, an archival collection of more than 160,000 recordings from the beginning of recorded sound to the present, also features classical music as well as jazz, musical theatre, spoken word  (e.g., poetry, plays, and speeches) and recordings that relate to archival collections belonging to the Beinecke Library, the Music Library, and the Manuscripts and Archives Department in Sterling Memorial Library.  The Oral History, American Music project in Stoeckel Hall (96 Wall Street) contains recorded interviews with composers and musicians.  A list of interviewees is available on the web site.

How to find sound recordings at Yale and beyond: Recordings Library

The Recordings Library has material cataloged as follows:

  • Recordings cataloged since 1981 are in Orbis.
  • Recordings cataloged prior to 1981 are in two card catalogs, housed in the Music Library:
    • Catalog 1, 1952 to 1972, split into two files:
      • Authors, titles, and subject headings
      • Performers
    • Catalog 2, from 1973 to 1980, also split into two files:
      • Authors, titles, and subject headings
      • Performers
  • Several in-house lists are maintained to provide access to uncataloged recordings in the following areas:
    • Ethnic and World Music
    • Guitar Music
    • Jazz Recordings
    • Music by Charles Ives
    • Music by Virgil Thomson

To retrieve only sound recordings in Orbis, click the More Limits button before entering your search terms and select "Sound Recording"
from the Medium category.

Alternatively, the word sound is a fairly precise keyword term for finding recordings:

  • Example: beethoven and op and 101 and sound
The term discography is used in subject headings for bibliographies of recordings.
  • Example:  "popular music" and discography

In OCLC's WorldCat , choose "Advanced Search" and in the "Document Type" field choose "Sound Recordings."
In the RLG Union Catalog (RLIN) via Eureka: perform a search, limit to "Material Type" and choose "Sound Recordings" or "Recordings".

The Historical Sound Recordings Collection The holdings of the Historical Sound Recordings Collection are listed in discographies and lists maintained by the Curator of Historical Sound Recordings.

Partial holdings may be found in the Rigler & Deutsch Index of Pre-LP Commercial Discs held by the Associated Audio Archives which forms part of the RLG Union Catalog (RLIN), accessible via Eureka.  The Rigler & Deutsch Index contains ca. 615,000 sound recordings of music, speech, instructional materials and sound effects, from ca. 1895-mid-1950s, held in the archives of the New York Public Library, Stanford University, Yale University, the Library of Congress, and Syracuse University.  Records for Yale's Historical Sound Recordings Collection can be identified by the following information in the bibliographic record:

  • Version: Rigler-Deutsch (Resource File)
  • Record ID: RDIXCY...  (Note that RDIX stands for Rigler-Deutsch Index and that CY stands for Connecticut - Yale)

Back to Researching a Topic in Four Easy Steps

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This file last modified 07/31/06
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