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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Monday, February 25, 2013

UCSB Library Receives Grant to Catalog Rare Sound Recording Collections

In the early 1950’s, record dealer Edouard Pecourt opened a shop in Paris called La Boîte à Disques, where he amassed an extraordinary collection of vintage musical recordings.


When he moved to Portland, Ore., in 1986, he packed up his entire collection — four shipping containers in all — and brought it with him. When he passed away in 2008, the UC Santa Barbara Library acquired Pecourt’s collection, which included thousands of wax cylinders and an even greater number of 78-rpm discs.

Meanwhile, in the 1970’s, folklorist Bruce Bastin established a record company called Interstate Music to reissue important but obscure folk, jazz, country, blues, and ethnic recordings. In doing so, he, too, amassed a vast collection of 78-rpm discs. Five years ago, the UCSB Library acquired a portion of his holdings, which consists of ethnic and folk recordings from Latin America and Europe, as well as recordings in popular traditions such as Argentine tangos.

Now, with a grant of nearly $240,000 from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), David Seubert, acting director of the UCSB Library’s Department of Special Collections, is overseeing the process of cataloging the roughly 18,000 discs from the Pecourt and Bastin holdings, which comprise about 10 percent of the library’s sound recording collection. Also to be cataloged are smaller groups, such as the Roberto Eyzaguirre set of Peruvian 78-rpms.

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