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Guide to the William R. Moran collection PA Mss 57
PA Mss 57  
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Collection Details
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  • Access Restrictions
  • Use Restrictions
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement

  • Title: William R. Moran collection
    Identifier/Call Number: PA Mss 57
    Contributing Institution: UC Santa Barbara Library, Department of Special Research Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 84 linear feet (169 document boxes, 15 flat boxes)
    Creator: Moran, William R.
    Date (inclusive): circa 1860-2004
    Date (bulk): 1900-1950
    Abstract: 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 on singers and correspondence with singers, discographers and others.
    Physical Location: Special Research Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library

    Access Restrictions

    The collection is open for research.

    Use Restrictions

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], William R. Moran collection, PA Mss 57. Department of Special Collections, UC Santa Barbara Library, University of California, Santa Barbara.

    Acquisition Information

    Bequeathed with the Estate of William R. Moran.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Pearl Ko, 2011.

    Biographical Note

    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 Geologists Bulletin.

    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 and Artifacts, IX. Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound (StARS), X. Recording Research Files (not Victor), XI. Recording Research Files (for EDVR), XII. Oversize, XIII. Opera Houses, Theaters, and Companies.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Clippings (information artifacts)
    Melba, Nellie, Dame
    Farrar, Geraldine
    Victor Talking Machine Company
    Moran, Robert B., 1879-1961 -- Archives