As an intern at the Library of Congress Recorded Sound Archives, Katie Rodda '10 discovered previously unknown recordings by influential blues artists. The story was detailed in a July 26 L.A. Times article.
From the Times:
When Universal Music Group donated more than 200,000 recordings to the Library of Congress last year, it seemed like just a matter of time before some intriguing finds would emerge, and the first did this week: two prevoiusly unknown recordings by blues duo Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee.
The two tracks, recorded in 1946, long before singer and harmonica player Terry and guitarist McGhee became well-known in the folk and blues worlds, showed up on one of more than 10,000 16-inch lacquer discs that were part of the UMG donation. The collection had been undergoing cataloging and organizing by a pair of interns working for the library’s Packard Campus for Audio-Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Va.
“A lot of these discs may have some grease pencil labeling on them -- they might say ‘B. Crosby,’ for Bing Crosby,” Matthew Barton, curator for the library’s recorded sound division, told The Times on Thursday. “Most of them have two or three tracks on the discs, and there might be an arrow pointing to the track they decided to use.”
He said interns Katie Rodda and Jacob Houser have been charged with correlating the discs with a master discography of the inventory that was compiled 10 or 12 years ago. “We got these from Universal in 75 or 80 boxes. The documentation was very minimal. We had a single spreadsheet to work with, and it was hard to tell things apart. You couldn’t tell where one session began or ended.”