The National Jukebox – 16,000+ Early Music Recordings

The Library of Congress offers many interesting collections of digital archives including one called the National Jukebox. I first wrote about it more than a decade ago. Since then the size of the collection has expanded because more recordings have entered the public domain and because the Library of Congress has digitized more recordings. The collection now offers more than 16,000 recordings made between the years of 1900 and 1925. Nearly all of the recordings were originally done on wax cylinders through the acoustical recording process

The recordings in the National Jukebox can be searched and listened to on your computer. You can search the archives by recording date, recording type, language, and target audience. The National Jukebox has also arranged playlists that you can listen to in a continuous stream. You can also embed the recordings player into your blog or website as I have done below. Watch this short video to see the National Jukebox in action.

Applications for Education

As I mentioned in my video above, the National Jukebox can be a good resource for history teachers and music teachers. For history teachers, particulary U.S. History teachers, the National Jukebox is an excellent resource to have handy when teaching lessons about the development of American culture in the early 20th Century. For music teachers, the National Jukebox could be useful in providing listening samples of some classics that students might be learning to play in small ensembles.


Thank You Readers for 14 Amazing Years!