Caruana Gramophone Collection

The Caruana Gramophone Collection comprises a near-complete run of the bound Gramophone magazine and corresponding shellac (78s) releases. The Gramophone, established in 1923, is the oldest record magazine still in existence. The print volumes begin with the magazine's first issue in April 1923 and run continuously through the World War II to 1999 missing only one volume from June 1984 – May 1985. Frank Caruana collected 10-inch and 12-inch records to correspond with the magazines, which he meticulously organised with a codified numerical sequence. Most records sleeves bear inscriptions to the relevant Gramophone magazine volume (e.g. II. 75 / X. 162 / XIV. 502 / XXXVI. 475) which cross-reference announcements and reviews of the release together with contextual commentaries on different related releases of the same work or by the same performer. Also affixed to the record sleeves are cut-outs from other publications with track-listings, photos of the performers and reviews.

DIT Caruana Gramophone Collection: Shellac Preservation Project

This project is to conserve, re-house, catalogue, digitise and make accessible to scholars and members of the public the historical shellac recordings of the Caruana Gramophone Collection. The recordings feature signature and unique commercially-released performances by international and Irish artists such as John McCormack making the collection without comparison in Ireland for both listening pleasure and academic research. The collection's contents are of vital importance to musicologists and researchers, not only in their performance practice research suitability, but perhaps most importantly as a vital source of evidence on Ireland's cultural heritage, providing primary source materials documenting the thriving appetite for record collecting in Dublin during the early twentieth-century.

DIT is an Associate Partner in the Europeana Sounds project and Consortium Partner in the Digital Repository of Ireland to provide worldwide public access to the digitised recordings. This project is funded by the Heritage Council and DIT Foundation.

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