After a long day, it can be nice to take a few moments to listen to a bit of music. Perhaps you are in the mood for John McCormack’s 1904 recording of “Green Isle of Erin”? Maybe you would like to listen to a few humorous anecdotes of Scottish humor from the first couple of decades of the 20th century? Both of these selections, and thousands of other enticing recordings can be found at this archive of cylinder recordings offered by the Department of Special Collections at the University of California, Santa Barbara. With the kind assistance of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, they have created a digital collection of over 6000 recordings taken from cylinders, which were the first commercially produced sound recordings. Visitors can learn about the history of cylinder recordings, search the collection at their leisure, and also browse around by genre, instrument, or topical subject. For those who find themselves overwhelmed by this musical cornucopia, there is also the option to just go ahead and play the “Featured Cylinder” offered on the right-hand side of the page, or also listen to their in-house “Cylinder Radio”.


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