Discography of American Historical Recordings (DAHR)

DAHR is the preeminent searchable database documenting historical commercial sound recordings in the US, with audio streaming of more than 30,000 recordings, available free-of-charge.

Used by researchers, musicologists, and general music fans, DAHR had its genesis in 1964 as the Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Recordings, a project founded by private collectors Ted Fagan and William R. Moran. It initially documented recordings made by the Victor Talking Machine Company from original documents in the Victor (now Sony) Archives.

It became an online database at UCSB in 2008 and streaming audio was added through a partnership with the Library of Congress in 2011. In 2013, DAHR became the primary project of the UCSB-based American Discography Project (ADP)— with the expansion of the project to document seven other early record companies with support from the Packard Humanities Institute.

Today, DAHR plays a critical role in researching early sound recordings and provides scholars around the world with accurate data compiled from primary sources, detailed biographical information, and audio content on a scale that didn’t exist 10 years ago. By enhancing the data represented in DAHR, the UCSB Library has amplified our commitment to the access, understanding, and appreciation of this incredible treasure trove of our collective history.