Rare Indian records survived over a century — now free online

Indian records

Over the crackle of an old record, you can hear a woman singing in Urdu. Though listening to her is as easy as clicking a few buttons on the British Library website, her voice comes to you across vast distances in space and time.

Sometime in the early 20th century, engineers recorded the voice of a woman called Malkajan for the German company Odeon, which pressed shellac discs for Indian record collectors in the 1910s and 30s. Now her work is part of a series of recordings called The Odeon Collection, digitized by Mumbai record collector Suresh Chandvankar with help from a grant from the British Library. There are over 1400 recordings in the collection, and all are free to the listening public…

Click here to access the archive. You will see the first recording up top and more choices on the right. The choices are expandable.

Enjoy the search. Enjoy listening.

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