By way of the 78-l's Ron L'Herault who reposted it from Robert Ringwald
from, of all places, the Dixieland Jazz list, I thought that this list
would be especially interested in this article about the collection of a
long time ARSC member, the late Jack Saul. Many of us remember Jack at
ARSC conferences and that Jack's wife was one of the few spouses who
accompanied her husband! I remember her sitting patiently thru
presentations, knitting. She is mentioned in the article as well.
Judaica Sound Archives at Florida Atlantic University
Donation of 60,000 Recordings a 'Rich Mother Lode' for
Florida Atlantic University's Judaica Archive
by Lona O'Connor Palm Beach Post, December 29, 2009
BOCA RATON -- The Judaica Sound Archive is accustomed to receiving large
donations of old recordings. But its latest bequest -- 10,000 records --
arrived in an 18-wheel trailer truck.
The 7-year-old musical archive, part of Florida Atlantic University's
library, has a lot of cataloging to do in the next few months, because
another 18-wheeler will arrive as soon as the snow melts. It will carry
at least twice as many recordings -- all from the late Jack Saul, a
Cleveland furniture store owner whose collection may have amounted to
as many as 300,000 recordings at its peak.
The Saul contribution will add about 60,000 recordings, including a few
unique examples, to the FAU archive, already one of the largest in the
world. The sound archive is run by Nat Tinanoff and Maxine Schackman,
who, aided by tech-savvy volunteers and students, have made 10,000
songs from the archive's collection available online to the public.
The archive contains religious, folk and children's music, theater
and music-hall performances.
A passionate collector, Saul filled his house, store and warehouse
with his collection, said Schackman. "After his wife read him the
riot act, he gave away 200,000 recordings to an organization.
But they ended up selling it and he was infuriated."
A cantor who donated part of his own collection to FAU told Saul
about the archive. Saul visited the FAU sound archive in February
and assured himself that his records would be in a good home.
The Saul collection contained a few surprises, including a recording
of comedian and singer Fanny Brice (the subject of the "Funny Girl"
movies) singing to children, and a fantasy cantata about the
Brooklyn Dodgers by renowned opera baritone Robert Merrill.
"The Jack Saul collection was a really rich mother lode of new
and unique recordings," said Schackman.
Saul, who died in May at age 86, loved Jewish music, but also
specialized in classical recordings made before 1900. He owned
mint copies of every recording made by the Cleveland Orchestra
since 1924. He owned complete sets, autographed copies and albums
never taken out of their wrappers.
Saul gave first pick to Tinanoff, who sorted through the records
and helped pack 700 boxes, which were delivered to FAU in September.
Other recordings went to the Library of Congress, the Cleveland
Orchestra and the Guy Lombardo Society. Saul's daughter kept a
few sentimental favorites.
Also in the Saul collection were non-Jewish music that will
become a big part of FAU's new collection of 78-rpm recordings,
as well as about 500 records that will be added to FAU's jazz
collection. About 4,000 compact discs will be made available
for student use.
Tinanoff estimates it will take five years to inventory the
Saul collection and welcomes volunteers with computer skills.