Where do I find more information about a recording/composer/performer listed in the database?

We hope that you are finding the DAHR database useful for your research and/or exploration of the early history of American sound recordings. Unfortunately, limited staff time prevents us from answering most questions from the general public. University of California faculty, staff, and students receive priority for general reference assistance.

If you have a question related to a particular composition, or need biographical information on a performer or composer, your local public or university library likely has online and print reference sources as well as reference librarians who can assist you with your search. A list of libraries around the world can be found here. Keep in mind, however, that many composers and performers of popular and ethnic music are very obscure, though diligent searching of newspapers, phonograph industry trade journals, and other primary sources may be useful. Your nearest university music library is the best place to start for this type of research. There are also reference works with biographical information on early performers, such as Popular American Recording Pioneers, but the numerous ethnic and foreign artists are largely undocumented.

For genealogical researchers, the Victor files are unlikely to contain additional information (such as birth and death dates) beyond what is available on DAHR that would help your research.

In most cases, the information provided in the DAHR database includes all that we have been able to verify about any individual recording.