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The Country Music Archive (incorporating the British Archive of Country Music) is a non-profit organisation, set up by Dave Barnes in 1987 to catalogue and preserve what had already become a large and ever growing collection of music, magazines, books and other country music items some of which were rarities of great historical interest. A purpose-built building was put up (and later had to be extended as the archive continued to expand!).
The mission was, and remains, to preserve traditional country music and make it available to country music historians, researchers and enthusiasts – now and for future generations
The library has over 650,000 songs on various forms of media including 78rpm, 45rpm and 33rpm transcriptions, video, audio cassette (normal and 8 track) and reel to reel. The Archive also includes thousands of magazines, fanzines, discographies, biographies and photographs all stored under one roof.
In 2002 we began to release recordings “from the vaults” on CD. Each release is meticulously researched – we draw on our team of country music experts from around the world, many of them specialists in a particular era or genre of the music. Tracks are identified and whittled down to between 25 and 30 for each CD, roughly 65 to 80 minutes music time. Some of the tracks come from the Archive library but where there are gaps we seek help from our network of collectors.
Then onto the mastering of the three CDs for the month – mainly a joint effort by Brian and Sandi Golbey – Brian looking after the audio cleaning as well as the cover artwork and Sandi doing the editing of the cover notes. Finally, when everything is ready for printing (the CDs and the insert notes), this is all done at the Archive by Dave Barnes and Barry Farnes. So putting this all together, it’s like a big club – lots of people contributing and doing their bit – what we have in common is our love for the music.
Would you like to help? Please check out How to support the Archive
A selection of some of our CDs … note that this is just a montage/picture – sorry, clicking on one of the covers will not take you there. However if you’d like to check out one of the CDs, just type the artist name in the Search box (see above left!) and a list of that artist’s CDs will appear …
Browse the catalogue for the full range of CDs including song titles.Browse the catalogue