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The UCSB Library invites you to discover and listen to its online archive of cylinder recordings; donate to help the collection grow; and learn about how these sounds and songs create an audio history of American culture.

Cylinder of the day

“Elisir d'amore.” performed by Aristodemo Giorgini.

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News

April 7, 2022 The UCSB Library launches the Early Recordings Initiative (ERI) aimed at preserving our earliest recorded heritage.

January 1, 2022 Thousands of cylinder recordings made before January 1, 1923 enter the public domain. UCSB Cylinder Audio Archive transfers now open to free open use for any purpose.

November 12, 2020 Earliest commercial recordings made in Los Angeles featured in series of LA Times articles: LA Cylinders. UCSB's "Temple of Sound." Guardians.

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Did You Know?

Cylinders are acoustic recordings—performers sang or played into a recording horn, not a microphone. Microphones were not in widespread use until 1924 with the advent of electrical recording.