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Guide to Discographical Research: Archival Resources

This is a guide to the range of resources useful for gathering information about specific recordings.

Record Producers' Archives

The Music & Recorded Sound division holds several collections of record companies and company employees, which include session documentation and other clues to recording dates and personnel. 

A.F.R. Lawrence Papers: document the history, operations, business decisions, and technological developments of Columbia Records  Lawrence was a sound recording archivist, lawyer, and professional historian who established and organized the record library and company archive of Columbia Records, Inc. beginning in the early 1960s.

Cetra-Soria Collection: documents the growth of the Cetra-Soria label of opera recordings and their distribution.

Composers Recordings, Inc. Records: contain recording project files, correspondence, business and financial papers and photographs documenting the history of the record label devoted to contemporary American music.

Dorle Soria Papers: document the establishment and operation of the Angel Records label for EMI; the Soria Series of albums produced for RCA; the Cetra-Soria Records label;

Mitch Miller Papers: includes photos and scrapbooks documenting Miller's work at Columbia Records.

George Avakian and Anahid Ajemian Papers: contain significant documentation of Avakian's work as a recording producer for Decca, Columbia, World Pacific, Warner Bros., and RCA.

Teo Macero Collection: includes Columbia Records office correspondence and recording studio paperwork documenting the careers and recording projects of the musicians recorded by Macero.

Teresa Sterne Papersinclude material related to Sterne's tenure in charge of Nonesuch Records

Irving Teibel Papers: contain the files of Syntonic Research Inc., Teibel's record label.

Job sheets

The Teo Macero Collection contains "job sheets" such as this one for Miles Davis' album Kind of Blue. Job sheets can contain information about matrix numbers, date and location of recording, and musicians included.

Job sheets can be located in the collections above in the folders devoted to particular albums.

Noteworthy Item: Edison Bell Ledger, 1926-1933

The Rodgers & Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound holds a handwritten ledger from the Edison Bell Phonograph Corporation. The book lists classical recordings made by the Edison Bell company between 1926-1933, and includes information such as matrix number, performers, copyright status, as well as the status of the master recordings. 

The book can be accessed in our Special Collections Reading Room as call number JOH 16-5.