William R. Bryant and Record Research Associates Archives Donated to the University of California

William R. Bryant and Record Research Associates Archives Donated to the University of California


Len Kunstadt and William R. Bryant


I am pleased to announce that the William R. Bryant and Record Research Associates archives have been donated to the Davidson Library at the University of California–Santa Barbara. The library’s Discography of American Historical Recordings project has been at the forefront of discographical research for nearly two decades, beginning with its posting of the Victor file data, and expanding rapidly from there.

Having worked with David Seubert, Sam Brylawski, and the Davidson Library staff on several projects in the past, I have no doubt that UCSB is the best choice as a permanent new home for this important collection, which was acquired by Mainspring Press in 2011 — and from which so many Mainspring discographies have sprung. Rights to several unfinished Mainspring Press discographies based on this material, including Plaza-ARC and Grey Gull, have also been assigned to UCSB.

The initial lot, dispatched to UCSB earlier this week, comprises all of the discographical data compiled over a span of five decades, from first-hand aural and visual inspection of countless thousands of 78s, by the Record Research group (Walter C. Allen, Len Kunstadt, Perry Armagnac, Carl Kendziora, George Blacker, et al.) and Bill Bryant. Bill acquired and continued to work on the RR archive, as well as his own projects, before his untimely death in 1995.

As with any collection of this sort, it will take considerable time to process and organize the materials, and to set parameters for access; so please do not contact UCSB concerning access or requesting data for now — it’s simply far too early. Updates will be posted here as they become available.

—Allan Sutton / Mainspring Press