UCSB Library is one of 20 organizations that received a 2022 grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) in April for a Recordings at Risk project.
Nearly $50,000 is now available for the project, “Preserving America’s Radio Heritage: The Recordings of Variety Show Pioneer Rudy Vallée.”
Around the world, there exist repositories of writings, imagery, and tools that mark the evolution of humankind, but what are the sounds of our shared history?
For the last 35 years, collector John Levin has been amassing a collection of brown wax cylinders--one of our earliest media for recorded sound--to shed light on this question.
Count Dracula, Vlad the Impaler, and vampire pop culture may not seem like obvious areas for scholarly research. However, couple Melinda Hayes, University of Southern California (USC) Rare Books Librarian, and Wayne Shoaf, USC Metadata and Digital Librarian recognized this undervalued collecting area and have spent the last 30 years amassing a fascinating and scholarship-worthy collection of vampire ephemera.
About 2,000 rare early opera recordings, including cylinders and 78 RPMs valued at $300,000, were recently donated to the UCSB Library Special Research Collections Performing Arts Collection to be digitized and made available to the public.
The collection was donated by Catherine Glaze, who inherited it from her father, Harry Smith Glaze, Jr., who passed away in April. A Stanford-educated chemical engineer by trade, he was an enthusiastic traveler and opera aficionado.
In 2018, conceptual artist RT Livingston gifted her extensive collection of artwork and related materials to the UC Santa Barbara Library’s Special Research Collections. Livingston’s body of work, primarily inspired by human relationships with the environment, ranges from photography and videography to large-scale installations, painting, and music.
In early September 2021, California poet Michael Hannon donated materials surrounding his life’s works to the UC Santa Barbara Library Special Research Collections. Inspired by reflections on religion, philosophy, mortality, and the impermanence of life, Hannon’s poetic journey began in 1960, toward the end of the Beat Generation when New American poetry came to the fore. The acquisition is a notable addition to the Library’s growing literary collection.
Allen Cohen, a retired UC Santa Barbara librarian, is an active member of the Santa Barbara literary and arts scene. Allen avidly reads, borrows, and collects books; attends concerts and plays; participates in book clubs at the public library; admires and collects art (with a focus on student work); and donates generously to the activities he cherishes. The arts and culture “are a significant reason for us to go on living,” Allen said.
Considered to be one of the first truly independent labels, Gennett Records will be the next record company to join the Discography of American Historical Recordings (DAHR), a database of master recordings made by American record companies during the 78 rpm era edited by a team of researchers at UCSB Library.
In a prime example of inter-library collaboration, the Santa Barbara Public Library (SBPL) recently partnered with the UCSB Library Special Research Collections to preserve more than 3,000 historic photos of Santa Barbara County collected by Santa Barbara native Edson Smith; 104 issues of Santa Barbara County’s first newspaper The Santa Barbara Gazette; and SBPL’s own archives.