New RCA Victor Materials Now Available

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Hagley Museum and Library recently acquired a generous selection of recorded music trade publications. Chiefly among these 87 items are phonographic record catalogs from various music labels. The majority are from the first half of the 20th century and represent both popular and classical music genres. We regularly collect trade catalogs, including discographies like these, and this new collection serves to bolster and expand upon the catalogs already in the stacks.

Among the record labels represented in this new group are the Victor Talking Machine Company and RCA Victor, Decca Records, and Thomas A. Edison, Incorporated. Hagley is no stranger to RCA Victor as we hold numerous archival collections related to that company, including both manuscript and photographic collections such as the RCA Victor Camden/Frederick O. Barnum III collection (Accession 2069) and the Frederick O. Barnum III collection of RCA Victor Company negatives (Accession 1995-220). For the Edison record label, catalogs include series such as the “Amberol” and the “Diamond Disc Re-Creations." A few of the earliest Edison catalogs promote the sales of record cylinders, a predecessor to the more familiar disc-shaped phonographic records. Keep scrolling to take a look at examples from this new collection!

PAM 2024.0159. Hagley Museum and Library.

This pamphlet, titled “What Edison Likes in Music”, originated from the mid-1910s and presents a brief interview with Thomas Edison. While much of the interview is spent on music and recordings, Edison briefly broaches the subject of culture, before selecting his top twenty-five personal favorite recordings.

Hagley Museum and Library.


Here are selections from a series, “Victor Records Orthophonic Recording,” which contains short promotional reviews for key recordings and lists all records released in the prior month.

Trade Cat .R137 1947. Hagley Museum and Library.

This leaflet highlights RCA Victor’s new popular music records from July 1947.

To explore more of this collection and others related to the audio, entertainment, and communications industries, search out the online catalog here: 


Doug McQuirter is the Reference Archivist at Hagley Museum and Library