Kelly On-line Database

A searchable database of recordings made by the Gramophone Company, and its successor corporations during the 78 RPM era.

This database is derived from lists assembled by the late Dr. Alan Kelly and may be of use to researchers and scholars interested in the details of historical recordings, both published and unpublished. It contains details of well over 400,000 recordings made in the period beginning in 1898 and ending in the mid-1950’s.

April 5, 2020

A couple of errors reported by Theo Morgan have been corrected.

March 21, 2020

A few errors reported by Philip Stuart have been corrected.

March 8, 2020

John Milmo provided an updated BV file, giving us an additional 150 or so recordings, for a total of 423,094.

March 1, 2020

A few errors in the BF and BT files, discovered by Peter Adamson and John Milmo, have been corrected.

December 30, 2019

Bug fix: Search criteria based on some (apparently seldom used) fields (e.g., file name) were being ignored.

Some searches did not find all matches when data included accents.

December 14, 2019

The website has been moved to a new server.

To see a log of all changes, click here.

Using the Site

Use the navigation bar above to:

  1. go to the Basic Search screen
  2. go to the Advanced Search screen
  3. read about the database and its development
  4. access links to other resources
  5. give us feedback by sending a message that asks a question, makes a comment, points out any error, asks us to add information about a known recording that is not included in the database, or expresses an interest in being involved in the process of improving the database

A Few Notes

Because the Kelly files were originally unstructured Word documents, it was difficult to extract all the information in them into discrete fields and impossible to arrive at consistent and standardised forms for names of performers and titles. Every effort has been made to design searches so that they retrieve the recordings sought.

The database contains the following searchable fields:

  1. Performer(s): names of one or more performers in various forms
  2. Title: names of works or titles of individual pieces as entered by Kelly
  3. Matrix No.: The Matrix No. without any prefix, suffix, take number or fractional take number
  4. Prefix to the Matrix No.: alpha or alpha-numeric prefix
  5. Suffix to the Matrix No.: alpha suffix
  6. Issue Number: the record company’s assigned catalogue number(s)
  7. Recording Date: in numeric form, in the order: dd-mm-yy
  8. Location: a city, country or recording venue
  9. File: Kelly file name
  10. Other: any data that could not be associated with a particular field by the scanning program
  11. Notes: when data elements seem to have been mis-situated, they are sometimes explicitly removed and placed in this field.