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and may be of use to researchers and scholars interested in the details of historical recordings, both published and unpublished.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 430,000 recordings made in the period beginning in 1898 and ending in the mid-1950’s.

November 21, 2020

Bug fix: A search term that contains a single quote (apostrophe), such as "Joseph O'Mara" failed with an ugly crash. Now it doesn't.

In many cases, Kelly's files used "smart" quotes instead of simple quotes, and the resulting recordings were very difficult to find in a search. Now the problematic characters have been replaced with simple quotes.

November 1, 2020

Over 7,000 recordings from the HMV Celebrity Series Recordings and Historical Reissues 1924-1958 listing (10” records in the DA, DJ, DL and DR series, 12” records in the DB, DK, DM, DO, DQ and DS series, and reissues in the ABHA, ABHB, AGSA, AGSB, IR, IRX, VA and VB series) have been added as ‘new’ recordings because they began life as Victor recordings.

In addition, recordings in that series that began life as HMV or Gramophone Co. recordings may have additional issue numbers added if the issue number from those series was not already in the database.

Search results that come from the HMV Celebrity Series listing appear in blue.

September 6, 2020

Many entries for recordings by Sir John Barbirolli were improved based on input from Malcolm Walker.

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.