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and may be of use to researchers and scholars interested in the details of historical recordings, both published and unpublished.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 433,000 recordings made in the period beginning in 1898 and ending in the mid-1950’s.

May 30, 2021

The database has been updated to correct errors discovered by Christian Zwarg, Peter Adamson, Paul Steinson and John Milmo, adding 16 recordings and otherwise improving the search results.

April 18, 2021

Several new and modified Kelly files have been incorporated, taking the total number of recordings over 452,000.

April 11, 2021

The 0KA file has been added to the collection.

"Matrix numbers" for the Original Series of recordings have been corrected to reflect the day of recording and a daily serial number.

Updated versions of the BL, BK and Unlettered files have been incorporated.

February 26, 2021

Some recordings in the 0LA and CTPX files were marked with the wrong recording size. These have now been corrected.

Issues for some recordings were erroneously listed multiple times in search results.

February 13, 2021

New titles were added to Suf-o and Suf-a, a format correction was made in Suf-L, and the name of a pianist accompanying Elsie Carlisle was corrected in the Bb/Cc file as a result of correspondence from a user of the site.

A new file prepared by John Milmo, covering mobile van recordings, special recordings and private recording made between 1934 and 1960 has been parsed, and its more than 8,600 recordings added to the database.

December 2, 2020

Bug fix: A search term for some issue numbers erroneously returned, no results, and sometimes data in the "Other" field was repeated.

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.