I used the local libraries to learn about recordings that were available, or at least available at one time, and used that information to seek out my own copy. As simple as that sounds, I never considered dubbing anything.
Syracuse Public Library had a fine collection of shellac dating to the teens.
We have it here at Belfer now ,when the record collection was donated. The best shellac ( IMHO ) is in fine shape. No one could tell me what machines they used at that time to play the records in house.
The sound of 2 or 3 victrolas all trying to compete with each other doesn't paint a pretty picture and ther were no listening rooms.
Were there disc machines with ear tubes ? I've never seen one.