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and may be of use to researchers and scholars interested in the details of historical recordings, both published and unpublished.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.

June 6, 2020

A few corrections to recording suffixes in the Suf-k file to correctly capture early use of suffix C and HP, and a few other corrections based on user reports.

May 24, 2020

A few more corrections, based on reports from various people.

May 10, 2020

A few corrections have been made, based on reports from various people.

May 2, 2020

Fixed a bug (reported by Peter Adamson) that caused all issue numbers for recordings in the BR.docx file to be dropped. Also corrected a couple of errors reported by Enric Giné.

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.

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.