Belfer Cylinders Digital Connection Special Collections Research Center

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audio cylinder containers in various sizes and colrods

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The Belfer Cylinders Digital Connection provides online access to digital audio files of cylinders in the Belfer Audio Laboratory and Archive. The collection includes over 20,000 cylinders, 12,000 of which are unique titles.

With initial funding from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Syracuse University Libraries have been able to digitize over 1,600 cylinders. Digitization work is ongoing and titles are added regularly. The digital recordings can be searched or browsed by genre/subject.

The vast majority of recordings in the digital collection are cylinders not duplicated by digitization projects at other institutions. One such project is University of California-Santa Barbara’s Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project which, with the support of an IMLS grant in 2002, has digitized approximately 8,000 of their cylinders. 

How does the “Search” box work?

You may search for a single word or multiple words. Words entered next to each other are treated as if connected by “and” you may enter titles as the words will be searched together, for example:
I love a lassie.

Do you have recordings of these songs by other performers?

Frequently there are recordings of the same song title by different performers.

Do you also have 78 rpm recordings of the same songs?

There are often recordings on 78 rpm discs of the same pieces. Except for gift collections in process, all of our 78 rpm recordings are identified in the online catalog.

Will you digitize alternate takes in your collection?

Our first goal is to digitize as many different titles as possible; therefore, alternate takes will not receive as high a priority in the beginning.

Are there any restrictions on use of these files?

Yes. See the Syracuse University Libraries' Digital Project Intellectual Property Statement.

Digital Project Intellectual Property Statement, Rights, ordering reproductions, publication permissions

The contents of this digital repository are made publicly available for use in education, scholarship, research, teaching, and private study. The written permission of the copyright owners or other rights holders (such as publicity or privacy rights) may be required for distribution, reproduction, or other use of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use or other statutory exemptions.

The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections often makes it difficult to determine the copyright status of an item. Syracuse University does not hold the copyright for many of the materials made available here. The user is solely responsible for determining the copyright status of any material he or she may wish to use, investigating the owner of the copyright and obtaining permission for any intended use, or determining the applicability of any statutory exemptions.

Syracuse University is eager to hear from any copyright owners who believe the website has not properly attributed their work or has used it without authorization. Please contact us at the following email address