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Recorded Sound Research at the Library of Congress

The Library began collecting commercial sound recordings in the 1920s when record companies donated copies of their newly published records. This guide focuses on music, broadcast and spoken word recorded sound collections at the Library.


The Recorded Sound Research Center provides access to the commercial and archival audio holdings of the Library of Congress. The collection, in the custody of the Motion Picture Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division since 1978, has grown to include over 3.5  million items encompassing audio formats from cylinders to CDs. The holdings complement the field recordings of the American Folklife Center and the moving image collections served in the Moving Image Research Center.

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