Finding Aids
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Belfer 45 rpm Collection

A description of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Title: Belfer 45 rpm Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1948-1990
Quantity: 40,000 items.
Abstract: Collection consists of 40,000 7-inch 45 rpm records, commercial recordings of Latin American music and popular music.
Language: English, Spanish, Portuguese
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
http://scrc.syr.edu

Biographical History

In 1948, the Columbia Record Company introduced the 33-1/3 long-playing (LP) record. Rather than pay to license Columbia's format, the following year RCA Victor developed and released its own competing format: a 7-inch 45 rpm disk with a large center hole. RCA also developed and sold a 45 rpm player that allowed multiple disks to be stacked and played in order. The "single" became popular and was rapidly adopted by record companies such as Capital and Decca; by 1954, 200 million 45s had been sold. Singles became especially widespread due to their usefulness in jukeboxes.

Early 45 rpm records were made from either vinyl or polystyrene and had a playing time of eight minutes. Both LPs and 45s used a smaller groove than their predecessor 78 rpm, and so were sometimes called "microgroove." By about 1950 the 78 rpm speed had fallen out of favor and was largely superseded by the two microgroove formats, both of which remained popular throughout the remainder of the 20th century.

The foundation of Belfer's collection of 45 rpm recordings was a portion of the Bell Brothers’ collection purchased in 1963 at the founding of the Syracuse University Sound Archives by Professor Walter Welch. The collection has been added to over the years through gifts and purchases.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Belfer 45 rpm Collection consists of 40,000 7-inch 45 rpm commercial recordings. The collection is divided into two series: Latin American popular music and American popular music.

Latin American music contains just over 20,000 individual records representing over 40,000 songs. The records are commercial recordings of traditional and pop music from Central and South America as well as Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries around the world. Many of these were recorded and manufactured in Latin America, while others were recorded and manufactured in the United States for this market.

Popular music contains nearly 20,000 individual records representing nearly 40,000 songs. The vast majority of the recordings are American pop music singles aimed at the radio listening public.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Records are shelved by record company name and record number. The inventory for the collection is not currently searchable by the public. However, if the researcher can supply the record company name and record number, staff can search our in-house database to determine whether we have the item.

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Other Related Finding Aids

A comprehensive list of record company names represented in the collection is available here (if viewing this online) or at the end of this finding aid (if viewing the hard copy).

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Access to recordings requires advance notice for prodcution of a working copy.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings

Subjects

Music -- Latin America -- 20th century.
Music -- United States -- 20th century.
Popular music -- Latin America -- 20th century.
Popular music -- United States -- 20th century.
Sound recordings.

Genres and Forms

45 rpm records.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Belfer 45 rpm Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchases and gifts, various sources, various years.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 20 Jun 2011
Revision history:

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Inventory

The inventory for this collection is not currently searchable by the public. However, if the researcher can supply the record company name and record number, staff can search our in-house database to determine whether we have the item.

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