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Library of Congress Receives Its Largest Audio Gift

Universal Music Group donates 200,000 master tapes/discs

The Library of Congress has found itself the recipient of a large donation of musical material from the vaults of the Universal Music Group.

Said to be more than 200,000 tapes and discs, measured “in excess of 5,000 linear feet,” according to the press release, the donation is the largest single audio donation ever to the Library of Congress.

It consists of master tapes, metal and lacquer discs, some dating to the 1920s. Some of the Universal Music Group labels included in the gift are Decca, Mercury, Vocalion and Brunswick.

The material runs through the 1940s and includes hallmark recordings by the Andrews Sisters, Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Jimmy Dorsey, Ella Fitzgerald, Judy Garland, Billie Holliday, Guy Lombardo, the Mills Brothers, Les Paul, Fred Waring and Dinah Washington along with acts long forgotten. It also includes some never released works.

The works will be housed at the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Va.