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Guide to the Arnold Jacobsen Collection ARS.0122
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Source
  • Sponsor
  • Scope and Contents
  • Related Collections

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Arnold Jacobsen Collection
    Dates: 1889-1994
    Collection number: ARS.0122
    Collection size: 13 boxes : 227 open reel tapes ; multiple folders
    Repository: Archive of Recorded Sound
    Abstract: The Arnold Jacobsen Collection consists of open reel tapes of 78-era popular vocal music and accompanying documentation from the collection of record dealer and store owner Arnold Jacobsen.
    Language of Material: English


    Open for research; material must be requested at least two business days in advance of intended use. Contact the Archive for assistance.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with repository. Publication and reproduction rights reside with the creators or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Head Librarian of the Archive of Recorded Sound.

    Preferred Citation

    Arnold Jacobsen Collection, ARS-0122. Courtesy of the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


    The Arnold Jacobsen Collection was donated to the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound by Maurice Jacobsen in 2006.


    This finding aid was produced with generous financial support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

    Scope and Contents

    The Arnold Jacobsen Collection consists of tapes of 78-era music and speech from the collection of collector, dealer, and record store owner Arnold Jacobsen, as well as correspondence, song lists, and other business records. Through his record store, The Memory Shop, and later his own custom-taping enterprise Arnold's Archives, Jacobsen would sell and trade copies of songs and home-made compilations, as well as the rare original recordings themselves. Many of these thematic compilations were provided for institutional clients (such as the Smithsonian Institute, the Library of Congress, and the National Baseball Library) for educational purposes, but Jacobsen's service also appealed to fans of old songs who needed help locating obscure, out-of-print recordings.
    Most of Jacobsen's tape compilations were not retained; he did not necessarily possess the best available copies of records, and the filled-to-the-brim quarter track mono tapes did not age well. However, the valuable lists that accompanied the tapes were kept. These subject indexes are grouped around virtually any subject, including World War One, dentistry, baseball and other sports, U.S. states, obesity, coffee, alcohol and Prohibition, aviation, horses, dogs, cats and other animals, children, smoking, depression, cartoon characters, America's Bicentennial, big band theme songs, disaster songs, and political campaign songs. There are were also compilations for certain artists (especially Al Jolson and Bing Crosby) and label surveys (such as Berliner, Zonophone, and early Columbia).
    While the majority of recordings Jacobsen worked with were commercially-released 78 rpm records of popular music, the collection also contains spoken word, air checks (both radio and television), film soundtracks, home recordings, and live performances. Some of this material was obtained from other collectors and dealers, and others were recorded by Jacobsen himself. An abbreviated list of tape contents can be found below.

    Related Collections

    The Archive of Recorded Sound stores approximately 430 discs from the Jacobsen Collection seperately; please refer to the Archive's Transcription and Instantaneous Disc Collections database for a listing of Jacobsen housed there. Stanford University Special Collections holds the Arnold Jacobsen Collection of 19th Century American Theater Programs, 1888-1913 (M1632).

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Jacobsen, Arnold