Victrola and 78 Journal
I’m excited and honored to announce that all 13 issues of the Victrola and 78 Journal are now scanned and available on archive.org. Tim Gracyk, the editor, got wind of the index I posted in December, and wrote me soon after to give me the ‘OK’ to scan and distribute the journal.
If this is your first exposure to the it, Victrola and 78 Journal (‘V78J’) was a collaborative journal featuring original research articles, reviews, and playlists from the most important collectors and researchers active at the time of its publication (1994-1998). Writers and curators include Brian Rust, Allan Sutton, Gayle Wardlow, Jas Obrecht and Dick Spottswood.
The journal covered a range of topics centered around American music history, sound recording industry history, and acoustic talking machines (Victrola, etc.). One thing that set V78J apart from similar concerns was its balance of first class research with the humor and camaraderie that make record collecting such a fun hobby to participate in or follow.
You can browse the index on Dinosaur Discs to find articles that interest you, or dive in and download them all (822 mb - please excuse the file size, you’ll appreciate the resolution!). If you find the journal useful or entertaining, I encourage you to write Tim, or reach out to the other contributors as you deem appropriate.
A word from Tim:
I am grateful that Mason makes available information that friends in the collecting world contributed to my journal during the years I edited it. Putting out issues was great fun though V78J ended after 13 issues because of other responsibilities—mainly a growing family and a busy teaching career. Also, publication stopped because I saw that the internet was the way of the future. I’ve been delighted in recent years by the proliferation of websites, forums, mp3 files online, and more. On a daily basis archives are uploading rare materials, and I can’t keep up! Trade journals are online! Record catalogs! Old magazines with priceless information!
Now is an exciting time for anyone interested in the history of the talking machine industry—the machines, the musical artists, the musical trends. Each day I find fresh primary sources via “google,” but I also like to look back at pages in my old journal since contributors had sent in facts, opinions, and primary sources that continue to be fascinating. Thanks again, contributors to V78J! And thanks again to you, Mason!
P.S. - I agree with Tim 100% that this is an exciting time to be involved in this kind of work (that’s why I’m here, after all!). Many recordings and research materials that were buried in archives or private collections a decade ago are now freely available online.
Some other resources, though, remain frustratingly unavailable and hard to find even for purchase. The semi-professional nature of record collecting and research creates or allows a situation where a lot of important original research is published in these collaborative magazines that aren’t collected or preserved by libraries, and so tend to be unavailable unless you know the right people.
Allen Koenigsberg’s ‘Antique Phonograph Monthly’ belongs in this class. With V78J now online, ‘APM’ is, in my opinion, the last in its class to remain so unfortunately scarce.
I’ve got a nearly complete run, and a standing offer with Allen to scan and distribute them if he’ll allow. It’s a long shot, but if anyone reading this knows Allen and could sway his opinion, I know there are many young collectors and researchers who would benefit enormously from the archive being made accessible.