I was speaking to my uncle over the weekend. “Back on the farm, we used to take all those Bluebird 78s, throw ’em up in the air and use them for target practice. We’d shoot ’em down with .22s. A lot of Wilf Carter records died that way.”
I shivered with pain.
Thankfully, we have The Great 78 Project which is seeing thousands of 78s digitized for preservation, research and discover.
The digitization project currently focuses on discs that are less likely to be commercially available–or available at all in digital form–particularly focusing on underrepresented artists and genres. Digitization will make this less commonly available music accessible to researchers in a format where it can be manipulated and studied without harming the physical artifacts. We have preserved the often very prominent surface noise and imperfections and included files generated by different sizes and shapes of stylus to facilitate different kinds of analysis.
There’s no way to predict if the digital versions of these 78s will outlast the physical items, so we are preserving both to ensure the survival of these cultural materials for future generations to study and enjoy.
This is proper use of the Internet. Thanks to Peter for the link.