For over 10 years, I have been interested in record collecting, recorded sound archiving, and discographic research. Over the course of this involvement, I have developed relationships and perhaps expertise in the preservation of sound. Further, I have amassed a collection of around 15,000 records in all formats and (since 2010) have researched discographies of record labels from the 1950s.
The Mission to Protect Recorded Sounds
Efforts to compile bibliographies began in the early 1960s but ultimately lost steam by the early 1980s. The initiative was restarted by Filip Šír and Peter Laurence at the 2015 meeting of the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives in Paris. At the meeting, the newly re-formed IASA Discography Committee first discussed the idea of continuing this work and creating an online International Bibliography of Discographies (IBD), which was officially launched in early 2016.
The International Bibliography of Discographies
The IBD interface is relatively simple and straight-forward. The interface allows whoever is contributing an entry the option of selecting what format the discography is in (PDF, article, book, website, journal etc.), the type of discography (label, artist, record label catalog, genre, other), and the current availability of the discography. Additionally, the project encourages contributors to upload their own published discographical works in PDF form and has expanded recently to include a list of historical print periodicals that are known to have contained discography articles (examples include 78 Quarterly, The Record Changer, ARSC Journal, etc.). There are ~700 entries in the IBD database as of mid-2018. The entries consist of nearly all musical genres, all audio storage formats (from cylinder records to MP3s), a wide variety of record labels, and cover the gamut of recorded sound history, from the late 19th Century to the present day.
Support the Preservation of History
The success of the project depends on participation from like-minded individuals. If you have discographic information or any collections, please consider submitting them to the IBD database. This will allow you to have an active role in saving sound recordings from extinction and obscurity.