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In celebration of "International Music Day" on October 1st, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is proud to announce an amazing acquisition of 90 extreme rare 78-rpm recordings manufactured by the Berliner Company of Montreal.
Earlier last month, the Friends of the Library and Archives Canada, a national and non profit organization whose members support the work of LAC in preserving Canada's documentary heritage, acquired these discs from Quebec collector Michel Picard.
Michel Picard is a well known figure amongst Quebec discographers who collects many types of recordings and travels throughout all the regions of Quebec on record scouting trips. He has, over the years, offered many thousands of recordings to the LAC including a comprehensive collection of recordings by Mary Travers Bolduc, "La Bolduc." These new acquisitions date from 1901 to 1905 and are in extremely fine condition. These records are much prized by collectors around the world.
The music on these 78 rpm records includes English and French popular music, band music, hymns, humorous songs, and recitations. The musicians featured on the recordings include Henri Cartal and Robert Price, among the first singers to record in Canada, and Henry Burr, a tenor from New Brunswick who made over 12,000 records from the early 1900s to the late 1920s.
All of the recordings collected by Michel Picard will be added to the LAC's Virtual Gramophone, a multimedia website devoted to early days of Canadian recorded sound: www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/gramophone/index-e.html
Beginning in 1975, October 1st was designated as "International Music Day" by United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It has been celebrated internationally ever since in different ways in different places.
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Pauline M. Portelance
Library and Archives Canada
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