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Historical Music Recordings Collection

Copyright & Digitization

Copyright & Digitization

The Historical Music Recordings Collection welcomes enquiries from researchers. Given the fragility of the various media, their storage in a distant location, the requirement of playback on special equipment, and the lack of bibliographical control, researchers should contact the Curator in order to ascertain holdings and availability. Access may be restricted due to donor request, or due to the necessities of preservation and processing, or for other reasons.


In order to provide a balance between the needs of researchers, and the rights of copyright holders (composers, authors, performers, their heirs and executors) and of the Historical Music Recordings Collection as owner of the physical property, use of the materials is controlled. The creators, performers, heirs, or executors retain copyright unless those rights have been legally conveyed to the Archive or are in the public domain. The rights of physical ownership belong to The University of Texas at Austin on behalf of the Historical Music Recordings Collection, the University of Texas Libraries.


Almost all the items in the Historical Music Recordings Collection were issued in formats that are no longer widely supported by the audio industry. Therefore, the sound that the items preserve must be transferred to another medium to make it useful. We offer a full range of re-recording services designed to support research and scholarship, preservation re-formatting, and (copyright permitting) commercial re-use. We charge modest fees for the service.

Copying is undertaken in compliance with applicable copyright law and University policy, and patrons must agree in writing to the conditions under which copies are made. Unless specified otherwise, copies are provided solely for private study, scholarship, or research, under the “fair-use” provisions. Patrons indemnify The University against any claims or suits that might arise from misuse of the copies or unauthorized supply of further copies.

The Historical Music Recordings Collection will not copy material that is currently available commercially or that can be obtained fairly readily from out-of-print record dealers. Copying of recordings in a patron's private collection is not normally undertaken.

Evidence of written permission from copyright holders is required before any copying is undertaken for commercial purposes.


When citing materials kept and/or furnished by the Historical Music Recordings Collection, please use this form:
[collection name, if applicable], The Historical Music Recordings Collection, the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.

The Collection requests that a gratis copy of any publication (in whatever medium) that derives from its materials be given to the Collection.

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