Special Issue: The History of Vinyl

<em>American History Now</em> presents a curated experiment in a collaborative history of vinyl records.




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Digilog Culture and the Vinyl Revival of the Early 21st Century

Few mass produced consumer goods signify authenticity to today’s purchasers so richly as a vinyl record.  As the New York Times put it, “It is so much a cliché of early 21st century hipster life that the locavore…in Lisa Cholodenko’s film ‘The Kids Are All Right’ is defined as muchRead More…

How is the Value of Vinyl Records Increasing?

The advent of music-sharing websites contributed to a new generation of record collectors dedicated to preserving the symbolic-exchange value of rare vinyl records. In “The Fetishism of the Commodity and Its Secret,” Marx explains that term “symbolic-exchange value” refers to “the exchange of objects as a symbol of a socialRead More…

For the record: Carroll Gardens photographer captures vinyl lovers’ collections

Take this book for a spin. A Carroll Gardens photographer is releasing a book of images that peer into the lives of vinyl fetishists — the record-collecting kind — and you can get your hands on an initial pressing during the book’s launch party at Dumbo’s PowerHouse Arena on AprilRead More…

IU Media Historian’s Find in Stacks at Wells Library Could Represent Oldest Record in World

Vor seinem Löwengarten Das Kampfspiel zu erwarten Saß König Franz Und um ihn die Großen der Krone Und rings auf hohem Balkone Die Damen in schönem Kranz The voice of the father of the gramophone, Emile Berliner, is only slightly muffled as he recites Friedrich Schiller’s ballad “Der Handschuh.” ButRead More…

At the Margins of Music: The Early LPs of Prestige Records

Viewed from the present, the LP era began in June 1948 when Columbia Records introduced their long-playing microgroove technology. The reality for listeners in the late 1940s and early 1950s, however, was much more uncertain. As vinyl LPs came to replace the shellac discs of the previous recording era, recordRead More…

Vinyl is the real deal. I've always felt like, until you buy the vinyl record, you don't really own the album. And it's not just me or a little pet thing or some kind of retro romantic thing from the past. It is still alive. ----- Jack White