music archives

“Rolf, the mandolin-playing terrier, was regularly featured on Art Nudnick’s Musical Menagerie. The Sunday afternoon variety program was a hit for the better part of 1925.”

Photo ‘discovered’ by the NYPR Archives Dept. on April 1, 2004 and used in the WNYC History Notes e-newsletter. Thanks to former Senior Archivist Cara McCormick.

We’re getting in on the whole animated gif thing and our first one is this delightful illustration from the Paris Music Hall collection in our Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscripts Library.

The original image used for this animation is a design by George Barbier, who has four other images also in the gallery.

We’d like to say a special thanks to University of Iowa Special Collections uispeccoll for inspiration and to smithsonianlibraries and their tutorial for convincing us we could do it, even with very little experience. 

In celebration of Black History Month, #MusicMonday is featuring works by African American composers. Photographed is George Walker’s  (b Washington, DC, 27 June 1922) “Sonata for cello & piano” from the Marion Davies Cello Music Collection ( Walker  studied piano at the Oberlin College Conservatory (BMus), the Eastman School of Music (DMA), the Curtis Institute of Music, and the American Conservatory, Fontainebleau. Among his many awards and honors are Fulbright, Whitney, Guggenheim, Rockefeller and MacDowell fellowships, an award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and a Pulitzer Prize.    


1964, Scan from The Beatles Unseen Archives

Live across America…

The Beatles play pass-the-phone at their New York Press conference. From their suite at the Plaza Hotel the boys innocently take some real calls, which turn out to be from DJs. Many of these go out on the air, and when Epstein discovers what is going on, he is furious at the small fortune’s worth of interview material that they have given away for free.

There is a kind of magic in touching things. Actually, it’s not magic at all — it’s the chance to pay attention, which should be part of everyday existence, but which seems less and less central in our device-reliant, multiple-open-window lives.

Ann Powers on the 800-song Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume One (1917-1932) box set, but more importantly, on why archives matter

(Read: Get thee to a library!