The Library of Congress and Sony Music Entertainment have launched the National Jukebox.
Here's an excerpt from the press release:
The Library of Congress and Sony Music Entertainment today unveiled a new website of over 10,000 rare historic sound recordings available to the public for the first time digitally. The site is called the "National Jukebox" (www.loc.gov/jukebox/).
Developed by the Library of Congress, with assets provided by Sony Music Entertainment, the National Jukebox offers free online access to a vast selection of music and spoken-word recordings produced in the U.S. between the years 1901 and 1925. . . .
The agreement for the National Jukebox grants the Library of Congress usage rights to Sony Music’s entire pre-1925 catalog—comprising thousands of recordings produced by Columbia Records, OKeh, and Victor Talking Machine Co. among others – and represents the largest collection of such historical recordings ever made publicly available for study and appreciation online. . . .
Visitors to the National Jukebox will be able to listen to available recordings on a streaming-only basis, as well as view thousands of label images, record-catalog illustrations, and artist and performer bios. In addition, users can further explore the catalog by accessing special interactive features, listening to playlists curated by Library staff, and creating and sharing their own playlists. . . .
The website will showcase special interactive features as well, including a digital facsimile of the 1919 edition of the famous opera guide "Victrola Book of the Opera," which describes more than 110 operas, including illustrations, plot synopses and lists of recordings offered in that year. Features include the book’s original text, a comparison of the different interpretations of the most popular arias of the period, and streamed recordings of nearly every opera referenced in the book.