Twentieth-century records become digitized

Nia Lambdin, Editor-in-Chief

BGSU is digitizing thousands of records made in the early 20th century held in the Music Library and Bill Schurk Sound Archives with help from the Internet Archive’s Great 78 Project

There are over 100,000 discs representing one of the largest collections possessed by the Internet Archive’s Great 78 Project, according to BGSU’s press release. 

The Great 78 Project focuses on the preservation, research and discovery of 78 rpm records, a style of disc only produced between 1898 and the late 1950s. This style of record is extremely fragile and risks damage from being picked up, according to The Great 78 Project website.

Digital versions of these records will provide easier access to the files for students to listen and learn from. 

The collection aims to establish a digital record of underrepresented artists, reflecting the cultural and political atmospheres of the time period when created.

“Within two months, they had digitized and uploaded thousands of recordings to the Bowling Green 78 rpm Collection page. That same work would have taken years longer to complete in-house at BGSU,” said Dr. David Lewis, sound archivist at BGSU.

In addition to this project, the staff is preserving copies of selected digital items for Ohio-related content and other unique recordings.