The Fonotipia Catalogue, 1904-1939 (CD-ROM)
Roger Beardsley (editor)
CD-ROM [Requirements: PC or Mac with Microsoft Excel installed] (List $65)
This is a CD-ROM discography. It is not a book or a printed listing! If you don't have a computer or access to one, then do not purchase this item. On the other hand, if you do own a computer and if you collect early opera recordings, this title should be in your library. It is a near complete listing - over 8,000 entries - of all Fonotipia recordings (including what is known of the jazz sides recorded in December, 1918). Matrix and take information, artists, titles, catalog numbers, recording dates and locations, couplings, corresponding Odeon issues and comments are all noted. Most of the information is based on the surviving Fonotipia ledgers owned by EMI, but many gaps have been filled in with data derived from physical pressings. The discography is in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, so you need to be able to run Excel. Data may be sorted by artist, recording date, matrix or catalog numbers, etc; and you can also search the spreadsheet for specific information. The editor invites users to copy the files directly to their computer hard drives so that they can enter their own additions and corrections. Also included on the CD-ROM is a spreadsheet of entries that require further research, so this is your opportunity to assist in an ongoing discographical project!
In addition to the Excel files, the CD-ROM includes an introduction to Fonotipia recordings, an article on Fonotipia labels by Eliot Levin, a list of artists whose first names are unknown and A Fonotipia Fragmentia (a history of the Fonotipia company by Frank Andrews as originally seen in the Talking Machine Review.