The Great 78 Project, an initiative to save millions of records at 78 rpm

The Great 78 Project is an Internet Archive initiative by George Blood LP and the Archive of Contemporary Music which aims to preserve for posterity the approximately three million recordings on 78 rpm discs estimated to have been produced in the United States since 1898 until the decade of the 50’s of the 20th century and remain basically forgotten because there has been no commercial interest in publishing them in other media.

It is a complicated task, to begin with, because the vast majority of these discs are made of shellac, a material that was originally fragile but after decades and decades is extremely fragile and must be handled with extreme caution.

Then there is the fact that, especially in the early decades of making records, the speed of reproduction was not standardized, so many times they have to “guess” at what speed to reproduce them.

They have about 200,000 discs in their hands, of which there are already digitized more than 50,000, which you can download in various formats; And continue to work on it.

The question is whether the physical copies of these recordings, which are also archiving with all the care of the world, will not last longer than the digital ones.


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