Emile Berliner and the Birth of the Recording Industry: By Series

Items in the online collection were selected from the Berliner Collection to highlight Emile Berliner's contributions to the history of recorded sound. Other materials that illuminate Berliner's community involvement, political concerns, and family and business relationships were also included to round out the portrait of Berliner the inventor.

The materials in the Berliner Collection have been organized into the series described below. The complete series are available for reference in the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division of the Library of Congress, in the reading room of the Recorded Sound Section.

By Series:

01 Addresses, c.1888-1929, n. d.

Addresses given by Berliner at professional gatherings and other public speaking engagements. Arranged chronologically.

02 Articles and Clippings, 1883-1955, n. d.

Articles and clippings about Berliner and his inventions, miscellaneous news items concerning some of Berliner's other interests, and coverage of his death in 1929.

03 Artifacts, n. d.

Talking Machine needles and industrial samples.

04 Books, 1879-1928, n. d.

Miscellaneous titles, including Muddy Jim, a book of health-related rhymes by Berliner, and bound copies of documents relating to Berliner's suit against The American Bell Telephone Co., ca. 1894.

05 Catalogs, 1895-1896

Catalogs listing the recordings available from Berliner's various companies.

06 Correspondence, General, 1870-1955, n.d.

Letters and enclosures sent and received. Arranged chronologically.

07 Diaries, 1889-1907

Cora Berliner's Diary (1889-90) and the Diaries of Joseph Sanders (1906-07), Berliner's nephew and business partner.

08 Misc., ca.1896-1930.

Miscellaneous printed materials, including sheet music for the Columbian Anthem, a patriotic song written by Berliner, ca. 1896.

09 Notes and Papers, 1877-1928, n. d.

Handwritten and printed materials relating to Berliner's experiments, and to other aspects of his life and career. Arranged chronologically.

10 Pamphlets, 1890-1951, n. d.

Promotional materials relating to Berliner's inventions and career, as well as to rival companies. Arranged chronologically.

11 Patents, 1879-1909

Berliner's U.S. patents and some European ones, as well as patents by other inventors that related to Berliner's work. Arranged chronologically. First Berliner's patents, and then those of other inventors.

12 Photographs, [ca.1871?]-1957, n. d.

Studio portraits and informal snapshots of Berliner, his family, his associates, and his inventions. Arranged by subject.

13 Recordings,1895-189?

100+ Berliner recordings selected from the Library of Congress's collection.

14 Scrapbooks, 1885-ca. 1930

Scrapbooks containing materials on various subjects, including Berliner's inventions, his public-health interests, legal and family affairs. Only 1 scrapbook (#14120101 ) has been scanned in its entirety.

15 Sanders Collection, 1953-1956.

Correspondence, business documentation, and notes relating to the involvement of Berliner's nephew (and son-in-law), Joseph Sanders, in the Berliner Gramophone Company. A folder of correspondence from the Joseph Sanders Collection relating to plans for an exhibit (ca. 1956) on the life and achievements of Emile Berliner is included.

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