The Berliner Archives presents two-dimensional objects, such as documents, books, brochures, advertisement, discs, and the intangible recordings, because we believe that you can have a fulfilling online experience of this part of the MOEB collection. Further, these objects are not accessible to visitors of our museum because of their fragile nature or because they are held in not accessible storage facilities. We included some of the museum’s most rare discs from a collection of the Berliner family in this archive.
Young volunteers and experts engaged in the selection, which was based on a thorough selection process but is also reflecting their interest in the collection of the MOEB. Our aim was to give you a fun and informative experience, invite you to come back to our archival site in future, and to participate in the research on the objects shown. We want to give you a tool for keeping the memory of the remarkable history of the recording industry in Canada alive.
Canada’s metropolis, Montréal, played a key role in the evolution of sound recording and sound-recording technology, and we hope our project helps to highlight the country’s impact, starting this project the year of the celebration of Canada 150.
The Berliner Archives provides a portal for users to learn about the important and vibrant history of Emile Berliner, the Montreal Berliner Gram-o-phone Company, and histories in the fields of sound recording and the global audio industry. It also highlights the technological advancements and changes in recorded sound over the decades through digitized audio recordings, streamed directly on the archive website. The archive aims to serve a wide audience of users from the general public, to researchers, cultural workers, and institutions far and wide.
The digitizing of part of our collection also provides a form of preservation for rare and fragile objects produced in the 19th and 20th centuries (1891-1920) that are valuable to the history of sound recording technology.
We based our evaluation on 5 factors:
- Unique recordings associated with Emile Berliner and the RCA Victor factory. These discs likely exist nowhere else.
- Local productions, such as those produced by Compo in Lachine. Also likely to be unique to MOEB’s collection.
- Local content, suggested that some of the collection is rare Quebecois content.
- Items of interest, items that may not be unique to the collection, such as picture discs, flexidiscs, labels of note, but provide content and context to engage interest.
- Rare, or early objects that mark technological changes and innovation in the history of sound recording and sound waves.
|Subject interest||What is the significance or importance of the audio? Will potential visitors to MOEB be interested in this music or document?|
|Content Quality||Is this a good representation of its time or genre?|
|Rareness||Is this unique to MOEB? If this disc or document has already been digitized to an archival standard, this item should not be selected.|
|Documentation||Is there supporting documentation (e.g. sleeve)? How good is the documentation?|
|Technical/Material Quality||Is this a good quality recording or a document in a good condition? Is its reproduction playable?|
The Berliner Archives is a project in progress. You can help us to complete our entries by providing us with your expertise. Send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please do not forget to identify the object you are commenting on.
The museum realized this project thanks to funding from the Documentary Heritage Communities Program from the Library and Archives Canada. The online database includes currently over 500 images and 100 audio files.