The Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound celebrates its 50th anniversary

One of the largest sound archives in the United States, the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound boasts a number of significant collections.

Important Stanford Library Collections in Music

Ambassador Auditorium Collection
The collection documents the performance of the Ambassador Auditorium in Pasadena from 1974-1995. The Ambassador hosted many of the world’s finest performing artists in many genres from the Vienna Philharmonic to Emmylou Harris, and thus it was known as “The Carnegie Hall of the West.” The collection contains print materials, photographic materials, audio and video materials, realia, posters and original art work (682 linear feet).

Mario Ancona Collection
The baritone Mario Ancona (1860-1931) was active on the stages of the world’s foremost opera stages including La Scala, Covent Garden, Paris, St. Petersburg, and New York. His roles included Rigoletto, Iago, Mozart’s Figaro, and especially Don Giovanni. The collection contains a wealth of materials including autographed portraits of opera singers and composers to members of royalty, original art work, concert and opera announcements, honorary documents, scrapbooks, autographed vocal scores, and rare recordings (8 linear feet).

Robert Baxter Collection
The Robert Baxter Collection, emphasizing opera and vocal music, contains over 25,000 CDs, 20,000 LPs, tens of thousands of DVDs and VHS recordings, plus an extensive library of books and periodicals. In addition it includes a comprehensive collection about Maria Callas consisting of books in various languages, many rare recordings, over 150 original programs, 1,000 magazines from around the world, 2,000 original photographs, medals in Callas’ honor, and posters.

Jim Cullum and Riverwalk Jazz
Cornetist Jim Cullum is one of the leading proponents of traditional jazz. These collections are comprised of recordings documenting the entire fifty-year history of the Cullum Jazz Band including twenty-five years of the Riverwal Jazz radio program (1989-2012).

The Fielder Collection of American Sheet Music, 1830-1950
The Fielder Collection represents the fruit of the collective labors of William R. and Louise Fielder. The collection consists of 2,532 individual pieces of sheet music, sheet music lithographs, and music-related broadsides from the United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries

Jean Baptiste Lully
First editions of most of Lully’s operas were acquired as well as livrets, contemporary manuscripts, and works by others who had ties to Lully. These materials support the Lully Archive at Stanford.

The Memorial Library of Music
Conceived as a memorial to alumni who gave their lives in World War II, MLM is Stanford’s most significant music collection. Made possible by Mr. and Mrs. George T. Keating, it includes music manuscripts, letters, and printed scores by many of the great classical composers.

Monterey Jazz Festival
The collection consists of over 1500 live recordings from the beginning of the Festival in 1958 to the present. Every important jazz performer has appeared at the Festival including Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Thelonious Monk, Charles Minugs, Billie Holiday, and many others.

Edgard Vàrese
Stanford’s Vàrese holdings include a sketch for the end of Poème électronique, autographed letters to François Bernouard, correspondence between Edgard and Louise Vàrese and John Pierce, tapes of interviews with avant-garde composers regarding Vàrese by Olivia Mattis, and other materials.

Western Sound Archives
The Nate Brown Western Sound Archive Collection consists of unpublished recordings of orchestral music from the 1940s through 1960s, with an emphasis on conductors. The collection contains over 1350 tapes of performances by Felix Weingartner, Leopold Stokowski, Hans Rosbaud, Erich Kleiber, Wilhelm Furtwangler, Pierre Monteux, and many others.