Commercial and non-commercial recordings as well as other audiovisual materials from the Leonard Bernstein Collection have been transferred to the Library of Congress Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division. The division operates two reading rooms dedicated to sound recordings and audiovisual materials, described below.
The Recorded Sound Research Center provides access to the commercial and archival audio holdings of the Library of Congress. The collection dates from 1926 when Victor Records donated over 400 discs to the Library's Music Division to supplement its print and manuscript holdings. In the custody of the Motion Picture Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division since 1978, the collection has grown to include over 2 million items encompassing audio formats from cylinders to CDs.
Keep in mind that in addition to sound recordings, the Recorded Sound Research Center holds a number of manuscript collections related to the recording industry. Keyword search across published finding aids using the Search Finding Aids database (and from the Collections drop-down menu, select "Recorded Sound"). Several of these special collections feature material about Leonard Bernstein, including the following collections:
Contact the Recorded Sound Research Center via Ask a Librarian to learn more about sound recordings from the Leonard Bernstein Collection, Bernstein-related recordings held in other recorded sound collections, and relevant material from manuscript collections held in the Center.
The Library of Congress began collecting motion pictures in 1893 when Thomas Edison and his brilliant assistant W.K.L. Dickson deposited the Edison Kinetoscopic Records for copyright. However, because of the difficulty of safely storing the flammable nitrate film used at the time, the Library retained only the descriptive material relating to motion pictures. In 1942, recognizing the importance of motion pictures and the need to preserve them as a historical record, the Library began the collection of the films themselves; from 1949 on these included films made for television. Today the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division (MBRS) is responsible for the acquisition, cataloging and preservation of the Library's motion picture and television collections.
Keep in mind that in addition to audiovisual material, the Moving Image Research Center holds a number of manuscript collections related to the film and television industries. Keyword search across published finding aids using the Search Finding Aids database (and from the Collections drop-down menu, select "Moving Image"). Special collections with material about Leonard Bernstein include:
Contact the Moving Image Research Center via Ask a Librarian to learn more about audiovisual material from the Leonard Bernstein Collection, Bernstein-related audiovisual materials from other collections, and additional manuscript collections with relevant material.