In May 2011 Library of Congress in collaboration with Sony Musical Entertainment launched National Jukebox a website of over 10,000 rare historic sound recordings available to the public for the first time digitally. The collection includes popular music, dance music, opera, early jazz, famous speeches, poetry and humour.
“The agreement for the National Jukebox grants the Library of Congress usage rights to Sony Music’s entire pre-1925 catalogue, comprising thousands of recordings produced by Columbia Records, OKeh, and Victor Talking Machine Co. among others – and represents the largest collection of such historical recordings ever made publicly available for study and appreciation online…Visitors to the National Jukebox will be able to listen to available recordings on a streaming-only basis, as well as view thousands of label images, record-catalogue illustrations, and artist and performer biographies…This represents a strong step in the Library’s efforts to return out-of-circulation recordings to public access”.
From the Library of Congress American Memory there are 7 collections of sheet music, among them African-American sheet music 1850-1920 from the collections of Brown University. There are digitised pieces by the composers James Bland, Ernest Hogan, Bob Cole, James Reese Europe and Will Marion Cook.
The other collections of sheet music comprise, Civil War Era Band Music; Folk Fiddle Music, Southern Appalachian; Moldenhauer Archives; Sheet Music 1820-1860 & 1870-1885; Sheet Music 1850-1920 and Song Sheets ca. 1800-1880.
The Oxford DNB is more than an online biographical dictionary. It has a list of themes. Some of these are, Anglo-Norman invaders of Ireland; the Metaphysical poets; Proponents and critics of appeasement; British Union of Fascists; England, Scotland and the Acts of Union; High-kings of Ireland; Lord Lieutenants of Ireland; Music in Britain: 1905 and after; Papal legates to medieval Britain and Ireland; The road to Suez and War poets. Articles link to biographies of the people involved.
The ODNB links to American National Biography Online. As well as biographies the ANB has research ideas which link to relevant articles and biographies of the people involved. The ideas are: American literature; Arts in America; Black history; Civil Rights movement; Civil war; Depression and the New Deal; Frontier and Western expansion; Gilded age; Hispanic American heritage; Native American heritage; Women’s history; and World War II.
Today’s Document is a free mobile app available in the Android marketplace and Apple iTunes Store. It is an interactive gallery that allows you to explore the holdings of the US National Archives through a collection of 365 documents and photographs. Tap the “info” icon to read background information on the document and link to related websites. You can share any of the documents via email, Facebook and Twitter.
Treasures is a British Library app highlighting over 100 documents, including literary, historical, music-related and scientific items – alongside illuminated manuscripts and sacred texts. There are audio excerpts and nearly 50 WiFi-served videos. See BL’s promotional YouTube video. There is a charge for Treasures. It is available across multiple mobile platforms: iPhone, Android and, in an HD version, the iPad.
Yale University have announced a new open access policy to online images of millions of objects housed in Yale’s museums, archives, and libraries . Yale is the first Ivy League university to make its collections accessible in this fashion, and already more than 250,000 images are available through a newly developed collective catalog.
The goal of the new policy is to make high quality digital images of Yale’s vast cultural heritage collections in the public domain openly and freely available.
In collaboration with University of Michigan and Cornell University, Library of Congress has digitised twenty-three nineteenth century American periodicals. “These provide additional perspectives on themes and personalities featured in other American Memory collections”
For its American Memory Collection Library of Congress has digitised Fort Valley State Music festivals, 1938-1943. You can search by keyword, performer or manuscript and you can also listen to over 100 audio files. The recordings document what may be the first folk festival organized entirely by and for African Americans.
The Manuscript Division of Library of Congress has the papers of twenty three United States presidents. In 1996, the Division embarked on a programme to digitise them. The following papers are available: The George Washington Papers; The Thomas Jefferson papers; The James Madison Papers and The Abraham Lincoln Papers. Other collections will follow. Library of Congress has also prepared a presentation called “I do solemnly swear…”: presidential inaugurations. Other useful resources for the researcher include the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, which has extensive digital archives; The American Presidency Project with over 90,000 documents related to the study of the Presidency and with links to other presidential libraries; and the Abraham Lincoln Historical Digitization Project which has useful links to other sites.
Students of American history and politics may be interested in the Mike Wallace interviews available as videos and transcripts in the Harry Ransom Center . There are interviews with Eldon Edwards, Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan (on segregation, communism etc); Senator Wayne Morse (on the Eisenhower administration); Earl Browder (former head of the Communist Party in the US); Dr. Ralph Lapp, nuclear physicist (on nuclear testing and the atomic bomb); Senator James Eastland (“the voice of the white south”); Frank Lloyd Wright (on politics and war); Orval Faubus, Governor of Arkansas (on the Little Rock controversy); Eleanor Roosevelt (on Republicans, Democrats and the Soviet Union); John Gates (a leader in the Communist Party); Fulton Lewis Jnr. (on American politicians); Abba Eban (on Arab nations); William O. Douglas, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the US (on the loss of liberties); Cyrus Eaton, industrialist (on the Cold War); Aldous Huxley (on freedom in the US); Adlai Stevenson (on American politics); Henry Kissinger (on US foreign policy); Arthur Larson (on the Eisenhower administration).