Universal Music Group has announced that it is donating more than 200,000 master recordings to the US Library of Congress, including famous works by Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday. The recordings date from the late 1920s to the late 1940s, from labels including Decca, Mercury, Vocalion and Brunswick. The Library will catalogue and digitise the music, before making it available to stream on a dedicated website later this year. “A surprisingly high percentage of America’s recording heritage since the early part of the 20th century has been lost due to neglect and deterioration. The donation of the UMG archive to the Library of Congress is a major gift to the nation,” says Librarian of Congress James Billington.

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