Scope and Content
Title: William R. Moran collection
Identifier/Call Number: PA Mss 57
UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Collections
Language of Material:
84.0 linear feet
(169 document boxes, 15 oversize flat boxes)
Date (bulk): Bulk, 1900-1950
Date (inclusive): circa 1860-2004
Personal papers and collection of discographer, author, and philanthropist William R. Moran. Collection includes sound recordings,
photographs, and ephemera as well as manuscripts and research files, including files he kept on singers and correspondence
with singers, discographers and others.
Annex 2 (Boxes 1-181, 92-103)
Language of Materials:
The collection is in English.
Moran, William R.
The collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Department of Special Collections, UCSB. All requests for permission to publish or
quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given
on behalf of the Department of Special Collections as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply
permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained.
[Identification of item], William R. Moran collection, PA Mss 57. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library,
University of California, Santa Barbara.
Bequeathed with the Estate of William R. Moran.
William Rodes Moran (1919-2006) studied and wrote about opera recordings for his whole life and was an acknowledged expert
on the opera recordings of the recording of many early singers, especially those that recorded for Victor Records. With Ted
Fagan, Moran founded the Victor Project, a comprehensive discography of the Victor Talking Machine Company from 1900 to 1955.
In addition to his discographical work William Moran worked for Union Oil as an exploration geologist, retiring as Vice President
for Exploration of Molycorp in 1985. From 1956 to 1989 William was associate editor of the American Association of Petroleum
Scope and Content
This collection contains posters, photographs, clippings and artifacts relating to the opera singers of the mid to late 19th
century and early to mid 20th century, especially those singers who recorded for the Victor Talking Machine Company in the
very beginning of the recording age in the early 20th century.
In addition, the collection contains correspondence with singers and other discographers, manuscripts, and research files
includings files kept on early Victor recording artists and early cylinder and 78 rpm disc recordings.
Research files also include those files and correspondence relating to Moran's involvement in the Stanford Archive of Recorded
Sound (StARS), as well as Victor Talking Machine (VTM) ledger files for recordings from 1900 to 1955, which formed the basis
for the Victor Project and the Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Recordings (EDVR), an online database of more than 75,000
recordings made by Victor beginning in 1900 maintained by the UCSB Library.
The collection has been divided into the following series: I. Correspondence, II. Artist Files, IIA. Subject Files, III. Geraldine
Farrar Files, IV. Nellie Melba Files, V. Artist Photographs, VI. Artist Clippings, VII. Albums and Scrapbooks, VIII. Autographs
Artifacts, IX. Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound (StARS), X. Recording Research Files (not Victor), XI. Recording Research
Files (for EDVR), XII. Oversize, XIII.
The subject files comprising Series IIA have been kept in their original order. These include correspondence, manuscripts,
articles, notes, catalogs and discographies. Series III contains the manuscript (plus related files) to William Moran's
Nellie Melba: A Contemporary Review. Series IV, contains the manuscript to Moran's
Geraldine Ferrar: A Contemporary Review, as well as letters by Farrar to Ricardo Bonelli from 1937 to 1966. Other artist files contain additional manuscripts of complete
works by Moran, as well as manuscripts of his many contributions, such as discographies, to other works. Also, certain files
may contain manuscripts by fellow discographers, researchers, and artist biographers.
The subseries "Ted Fagan files" has been added to Series XI Sound recording research files (for EDVR). This subseries contains
correspondence, original poetry and translations by Ted Fagan. Poet, United Nations translator, discographer, Ted Fagan was
co-author, with William Moran, of
The Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Recordings.
In order to maintain the intellectual arrangement of some files within this finding guide, a number of boxes in Series I,
II, IIA, and IV have been listed out of sequence. This does not, however, reflect their physical arrangement.
Processed by Pearl Ko and Zachary Liebhaber, 2011.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Farrar, Geraldine, 1882-1967
Melba, Nellie, Dame, 1861-1931
Victor Talking Machine Company.
Clippings (information artifacts)