Subscribe to our newsletter

(Credit: Clem Onojeghuo)


Over 100,000 historic vinyl records are being digitised and made available to stream online for free


As part of a new major project launched by the Internet Archive, over 100,000 vinyl records are being digitised and made available to stream online for free.

The Internet Archive, a non-profit internet library that has been plugging away since 1996 in an attempt to make “Universal Access to All Knowledge” through its website, has been collecting books, magazines, television programmes and culturally relevant films with prolific accuracy.

Now, as it looks to expand its collection, the Internet Archive has teamed up with the Boston Public Library in an attempt to digitise well over 100,000 historic vinyl records in order to make them available to stream online for free. Collecting formats like LPs, 78 RPMs and wax cylinders, the collection will “span musical genres including  classical, pop, rock, and jazz, and contain obscure recordings like this album of music for baton twirlers, and this record of radio’s all-time greatest bloopers.” 

The Archive said: “For decades, vinyl records were the dominant storage medium for every type of music and are ingrained in the memories and culture of several generations. Despite the challenges, the Internet Archive is determined to preserve these at-risk records so that they can be heard online by new audiences of scholars, researchers, and music lovers around the world.”

CR Saikley, the Director of Special Projects at the Internet Archive, commented: “The LP was our primary musical medium for over a generation. From Elvis, to The Beatles, to the Clash, the LP was witness to the birth of both Rock & Roll and Punk Rock.

“It was integral to our culture from the 1950s to the 1980s and is important for us to preserve for future generations.”

Derek Fukumori, Internet Archive Engineer, added: “We’re really trying to capture everything about this artifact, this piece of media. As an archivist, that’s what we want to represent, the fullness of this physical object.”

The Internet Archive is working hard to digitise the remainder of the BPL collection in addition to more than 285,000 LPs that have been donated by others. For now, you can listen to the current records that have already made it onto the website, here.

Source: Internet Archive