Virtual Sound Archives

All right, so it’s not one of those fancy computer-y things with cool 3d visual perspective and such. But I thought it might be fun to show you a little of what the Sound Archives looks like. One thing I’ll spare you is the current lack of ventilation here on the library floor – we’ve been assured that it’s only temporary – hmmm…

So, once you go through the double glass doors, you turn left, and in the corner there are two wood doors. But before you get there, you’ll see a small exhibit with a plaque (the building houses five Jewish non-profits, so what do you expect?) – The YIVO Sidney Krum Yiddish Theater and Music Collection Gallery (it’s a   l o n g   plaque).

Of particular interest is the disc behind glass. Red shellac, too…

Looking closer,

it’s an Aaron Lebedeff recording from 1923 (not that I have that information in my head, mind you – I found it in our database…)

I suppose you’d like to hear it… well, ok…

Oy iz dos a rebetsn

Shh, shh be quiet, the Rabbi is coming from shul… see the Rabbi’s wife and how she smiles… she’s like a lovely Purim cake… she shines like a menorah… she’s like a cheese blintz… a Passover wine-vessel… a noodle kugl…

All this talk about food is making me hungry. Pret it is. Be right back…

OK, so here’s our modest little plaque…

And if you go through the door on the right, you’ll find our listening facility (hint, hint).

But if you go through the other door you’ll find my office and the bulk of the Sound Archives’ holdings. Behind the door is the piano that was in Herman Yablokoff’s apartment.

Unfortunately it has a cracked pin block. And, unfortunately, it’s still in my office.

But let’s take a look inside. Here’s some parts of the collection – the commercial 78rpm discs, all 6,404 (and counting) sides of them

The lps, all nice and neat in their shiny new sleeves…

and my assistant, Matt Temkin, cataloging them on the Mac

I used to have hair like that…

And the fancy sliding shelves with cds and cassettes…

I bet you’re just hankering for some more music right about now. So that gives me an excuse to show you our custom-made Diapason turntable (plays just about anything)…

and styli with scientifically calibrated tracking weights…

Oh, yeah, what was that disc on the turntable? Could it be an artist test-pressing of an unissued recording by Isa Kremer and accompanist Leon Rosenbloom of Moniuszko’s song Kozak made in 1924?

Isa Kremer

Why, yes it could. Let’s listen…

Kozak (Moniuszko) – in Polish


What else do I have left to show you – our mixing board and tower of audio power…

…and the reel-to-reel tape deck and other stuff.

BTW, that doll sitting on the printer was a present from Israel from my friend Margaret. If you squeeze one hand it says the Shma, the other Moyde ani. That’s our people…

And that’s all I have time for now.

Come visit…

xo Lorin

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6 Responses to Virtual Sound Archives

  1. Helaine D says:

    Thanks for the tour, Lorin; great pix AND commentary. Oooh, I would give anything to be among those beautiful LPs & CDs (would be better *with* ventilation, however). Had not heard that Isa Kremer song before… what does “Kozak” mean, do you know? It’s the last name of a friend of mine. Anyway, why does Isa appear to have a headache? 🙂 Maybe sometime you can post her “Far Vos Iz Di Ketzele Broiges”… I love her rendition of that. Keep the blogs coming!!

  2. Hi Lorin,

    congrats to this wonderful site. It’s lovely, nice and very much Lorin! Reading the pages, I feel that I miss New York…good memories, especially the day when Andreas, you and me where listening to old recordings in the YIVO.

    A big hug from Munich

  3. Mordy says:

    Lorin, I love the post. Any chance I can encourage you post more often? I’d love to hear other curated recordings from the collection.

  4. pg says:

    thank you very much for Isa Kremer’s record: it’s a real gem. no doubt.

    in the “middle” of her personal “polish war” she decided to record davka this song. why? because “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”?

    personally, i don’t know. maybe you have any “evidence” pro or contra?

    thanks in advance

    shabbat shalom


    thank you about your “yivo virtual tour” too.

    and, of course, about Cili Tex record. do you have plans to publish your “Naftule” from the second side?

  5. Great blog, photos and sound files! Thanks, Lorin!

  6. Zevy Zions says:


    I must visit!


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