The Belfer Latin American 45s Digital Collection provides access to over 12,000 recordings held in the Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive. The bulk of these recordings date from the 1950s to the early-1960s, and include many rare and little-known issues on small independent record labels from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Mexico, the United States and elsewhere.
In the spring of 2017, the Syracuse University Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center began a major digitization project to preserve and make accessible this unique collection. Images of all record labels and covers in the collection, as well as basic metadata about each recording, are made publically available online. New audio files will be added to the collection on an ongoing basis as recordings are digitized over the next several years.
The Belfer Latin American 45s Digital Collection contains unique commercial recordings from North, Central, and South America and the Caribbean. Primarily sourced from 45-rpm discs (with a few 78s and other formats as well), the collection encompasses a wide range of musical genres including merengue, bolero, guaracha, cha-cha-chá, pachanga, mambo and many others. The collection also includes a large selection of salsa recordings from the 1970s reflecting the origins and development of that significant genre.
Recordings made available in the digital collection were selected from The Bell Brothers Collection of Latin American and Caribbean Recordings at Syracuse University Libraries. Max and Joseph Bell, the owners of the Bell Music Box, a New York City record store, were avid collectors of Latin and Caribbean Music. In 1963, Syracuse University acquired the entire inventory of the Bell Music Box store. The acquisition constitutes the bulk of Latin American 45-rpm discs in the Belfer archive. Recordings issued after 1963 were acquired separately through a combination of gifts and purchases but were added to this collection based on content and format similarity
How does the “Search” box work?
You may search for a single word or multiple words. Words entered next to each other are treated as if connected by “and” you may enter titles as the words will be searched together, for example: Yo la tengo.
Are all of the recordings available for listening?
Many thousands of recordings are currently available for listening as part of the digital collection. New recordings are made available online as they are digitized, so the digital collection is continuously growing.
How can I listen to the recordings?
Due to copyright restrictions, digital recordings can be listened to onsite only via hardwired computers in the Bird Library and Belfer. Listening appointments can also be scheduled in the SCRC Reading Room. See here for additional information
Are there any restrictions on use of these files?
Yes. See the Syracuse University Libraries' Digital Project Intellectual Property Statement.
Whom do I contact if I find an error that needs correcting?
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Rights, ordering reproductions, publication permissions
The contents of this digital repository are made publicly available for use in education, scholarship, research, teaching, and private study. The written permission of the copyright owners or other rights holders (such as publicity or privacy rights) may be required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions.
The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections often makes it difficult to determine the copyright status of an item. Syracuse University does not hold the copyright for many of the materials made available here. The user is solely responsible for determining the copyright status of any material he or she may wish to use, investigating the owner of the copyright and obtaining permission for any intended use, or determining the applicability of any statutory exemptions.
Syracuse University is eager to hear from any copyright owners who believe the website has not properly attributed their work or has used it without authorization. Please contact us at the following email address email@example.com.
The Belfer Latin American 45s Digital Collection was made possible through a collaboration of staff from the Belfer Audio Archive, the Special Collections Research Center and the Syracuse University Libraries. Special assistance with disc imaging and metadata transcription was provided by AVP.
Staff contributors: James Meade, audio transfers; Michael Dermody, project coordination; Sophie Dong, cataloging; Chelsea Hoover, cataloging; Deirdre Joyce, metadata and project coordination; Meara Mosny, graphic design; Daniel Rice, web site and application design.
Student and intern contributors: Stephanie Bailey, Lily Brandt, Chuanjie Jian, Kiley Jolicoeur, Mikayla Ploof, Walker Rutter-Bowman, Bronte Kincaid Schmit, Erin Smith, Yang Yang.