According to the NYTimes, Universal Music Group has donated some 200,000 master recording to The Library of Congress.
The music is from 1926 to 1948 and includes jazz, blues, country and the smooth pop of the pre-rock-n-roll period.
Gene DeAnna, head of the recorded sound section of the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division of the Library of Congress said “This is a treasure trove, a mile-plus of material on the shelves, much of it music that has been out of circulation for many years”… “You can’t get any better copies than these, so this represents a major upgrade.”
According to the NY Times, Universal began delivering the material to a Library of Congress just before Christmas and it is too early for archivists to know what historic recordings, rarities and curiosities may be lurking in the collection.
It took two years for the negotiations to finalize. The Library of Congress plans to preserve and digitize the recordings. The copyright will be maintained by Universal. It has not yet been determined if some of the songs will be made available on the Library of Congress’ website as Universal my plan to sell some of the digitized material on iTunes.