Guide to the William R. Moran Sound Recording Collection ARS.0075

Finding aid prepared by Franz Kunst
Archive of Recorded Sound
Braun Music Center
541 Lasuen Mall
Stanford University
Stanford, California, 94305-3076
© 2011
The Board of Trustees of Stanford University. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: William R. Moran Sound Recording Collection
Dates: 1902-1984
Collection number: ARS.0075
Creator: Moran, William R.
Collection size: 18 boxes: approx. 700 discs (about 280 10" discs and 410 12" discs) ; six open reel tapes ; ten metal parts ; approx. twelve folders of papers
Repository: Archive of Recorded Sound
Abstract: Rare recordings on custom vinyl pressings of opera and Western art music, donated by collector and researcher William Moran.


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

William R. Moran Sound Recording Collection, ARS-0075, Courtesy of the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


The William R. Moran Sound Recording Collection was donated to the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound by William Moran from 1987 to 1993.


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


William Rodes Moran (1919-2004) was a collector, researcher, writer, and discographer, particularly in the field of early sound recordings and vocal art music. His monumental Victor discography with Ted Fagan formed the basis for the on-line Encyclopedic Discography of Victor Recordings (, but he authored or contributed to countless books. Moran was a singular presence at the Archive of Recorded Sound, and this collection reflects only a fraction of the material he donated.

Scope and Contents

The William R. Moran Sound Recording Collection consists largely of custom vinyl pressings of rare or unreleased early 20th century vocal art music, donated to the Archive by collector William Moran. There are also some shellac pressings and metal parts (mothers and stampers). The collection numbers approximately 700 discs, many of which are cancelled releases, alternate takes, or otherwise commercially unavailable records. Most recording sessions originally produced by the Victor company, although there are some H.M.V. and Columbia recordings. Many are releases from the International Record Collectors' Club series of limited reissues. A detailed contents list is available.

Related Collections

Stanford University Archives holds the William R. Moran Collection, BRN-003, which chronicles Moran's occupation as an oil field surveyor. Moran graduated from Stanford with a degree in geology. University of California, Santa Barbara Libraries holds a William R. Moran Collection, PA Mss 57, which contains his writing, music research, and sound recordings.

Indexing Terms

Vocal music.


1. Sound recordings

Box 1, Box 2, Box 3, Box 4, Box 5, Box 6, Box 7, Box 8, Box 9, Box 10, Box 11, Box 12, Box 13, Box 14, Box 15, Box 17

Custom vinyl and shellac pressings (and a few lacquers). Refer to ARS for contents list.

Physical Description: 700 78 rpm discs (approx.)
Box 15, Box 17

Metal mothers, masters, and stampers

Physical Description: 10 metal parts
Box 16

Open reel tapes

Box 16

Jean De Reszke, Faust-Salve Dimora, Bettini Cylinder

Physical Description: 1 5" open reel tape
Box 16

Dame Nellie in America (Copies of Australian Radio Broadcasts) 1982

Physical Description: 1 7" open reel tape
Box 16

Walkure, Exxon - N.Y.Philharmonic Broadcasts, Originally from KDFC, San Francisco - Program No. N801-19C

Physical Description: 1 10.5" open reel tape
Box 16

Mary Shastid Martin, piano compositions, recorded in Northridge, California 1955

Physical Description: 3 10.5" open reel tapes

2. Papers

Box 17

Stroboscope master

Box 18

Schumann-Heink Correspondence 1966-1984

Physical Description: 8 folders

Scope and Contents

William Moran and James McPherson were contributors and consulting editors for the Opera Quarterly. These letters were McPherson's correspondence with members of Ernestine Schumann-Heink's family from 1966 to 1984. McPherson was the author of an unpublished book on Schumann-Heink.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Schumann-Heink, Ernestine, 1861-1936.
Box 18

Donation Lists, Recording notebooks, Spoken Word Card File copies, Stroboscope copies

Physical Description: 8 folders