Universal Music Donates Music Archive to Library of Congress

Filed in Gather News Channel by on January 10, 2011 0 Comments

Universal Music has donated its massive music archive to the Library of Congress. The gift is over 200,000 metal, glass and lacquer master discs. They were recorded between 1926 and 1948.

The bequest was formally announced today, and the music contained in it is from every major genre of popular music in America from that time period. There are discs from jazz, blues, country and pre-rock-‘n-roll, along with some classics and spoken-word discs. That would be an amazing set to hear, no doubt.

The best selling single of all time is included in the Universal Music donation to the Library of Congress: Bing Crosby’s original 1947 recording of “White Christmas.”

In all, the fabulous gift has been described as a mile of music. Gene DeAnna of the Library of Congress said, “This is a treasure trove, a mile-plus of material on the shelves, much of it music that has been out of circulation for many years. You can’t get any better copies than these, so this represents a major upgrade.”

This is great news for future generations of Americans. They will now have this beautiful collection of American music available at the highest possible quality for years to come.

Universal Music will still hold the copyrights to the music, but the Library of Congress will physically own the discs, and they will digitally preserve them. Universal Music has the right to commercialize the digitized music, as well, under the agreement. Most people will be excited to know that the LibraryÂ’s website will have streaming available for some of the recordings which will be wonderful for listeners throughout the world.

The entire process of digitally preserving the music is expected to take as long as five years. After that, Universal will sell some of it to iTunes. The discs often contain an entire recording session which will provide an enormous amount of information about what happened during the making of the song.

The gift is amazing. It will be exciting to hear what happens with these original discs over the next several years as they are digitized and made available through various venues.

Universal Music Donates Music Archive to Library of Congress

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