Press Play: Recorded Sound from Groove to Stream

September 6, 2022

An exhibition in Special Collections
Curated by Nathan D. Gibson and Mills Music Library staff
976 Memorial Library
September 7, 2022 – December 22, 2022
Open Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Exhibit talk with curator Nathan D. Gibson
Refreshments provided by the Friends of UW–Madison Libraries
Wednesday, October 26, 2022
3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Free and open to the public
Video of the talk embedded below and also available on UW–Madison Libraries YouTube channel

The confluence of music, art, and technology over the past 150 years has dramatically changed how we record and listen to music, from grooves to tape to digital disc to streaming services and beyond. Drawing from Mills Music Library and Wisconsin Music Archives collections, Press Play highlights the revolution evolution and the unique cultures inspired by each format. Visitors are encouraged to listen to historic recordings and to ponder the future of recorded sound and how it might be preserved.

We’ve created a playlist of 53 recordings accompanying Press Play you may access via the listening station in Special Collections, by clicking on this link, or by scanning this QR code, which you will also find posted throughout the exhibition.

QR code for Press Play exhibition playlist

Want to learn more? Read this Isthmus article: “Mills Music Library exhibit traces the history of recorded sound,” by Bob Koch. Nathan D. Gibson appeared on The Morning Show on The Ideas Network from Wisconsin Public Radio on September 30, 2022, talking with host Kate Archer Kent about Press Play and playing selections from the playlist. You may listen to the program here.