I've looked at a lot of RDI records. Here's what I think, Ryan. The
Rigler-Deutsch Project was cutting edge for its time, a very clever
low-cost inventory of 78s in five institutions. I can't take any
credit for it, having had nothing to do with it, but I was at LC then.
I remember hearing that the cost per side, including photography,
processing of images, keying, and building the database, coming out to
under a dollar a disc.
They photographed all sides (even blank ones) in the five
institutions.The images were then projected for inputters in Syracuse
who entered the data into a what I *think* was a dBASE II database.
RDI inputters were sort of contract minimum wage labor with no
previous experience doing anything like this. The application seems to
have included a "macro" key that cloned entries. This probably came
in handy when keying multiple copies of one side. Long story short,
Zonophone 6061 is Murray doing "Will you be my little bride." (I hope
that's correct. It's what RDI says.) Someone pressed the clone key for
6062 and Murray was credited with "Diplomat."
A few years ago several of the old RDI participants got money from the
Mellon Foundation to upgrade their RDI records. You'll now find more
authoritative records in OCLC for many RDI discs. However, LC holds
"Diplomat" and it was not a participant in the Mellon project. As a
federal institution they were excluded.
This is just a guess but is probably correct.
On Sat, Nov 3, 2012 at 12:40 PM, Ryan Barna <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Something doesn't seem right about the Rigler-Deutsch Index on WorldCat. For example, I was surprised to find Billy Murray singing "Diplomat" on 9" Zon-o-phone 6062 (a title I didn't know he recorded), but further investigation shows this is an instrumental selection by Hager's Orchestra, released February 1905. There's also matrix numbers on Zon-o-phone discs in WorldCat that doesn't match with the discs I inspected. Why is this? Is this a case of scanning the Index and mis-matching the data? -Ryan