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22 October 2012

Independent Labels

Despite many stories of the decline of the traditional record industry there seems to have been a growth in the number of Indie labels and self-released recordings in the UK of late. It is gratifying to see this reflected in a marked increase in the number of donations from Independents in recent months, largely due to the efforts of my colleague Jamie Tugwell who is contacting labels on a regular basis and explaining about the BL’s collection of sound recordings.

So this week I was pleased to meet Rachael from Stolen Recordings who came to the library in person with a wonderful collection of releases that we had not previously acquired.

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Stolen were voted Small Independent Label of the Year last year and are on a bit of a roll at the moment so to receive some of their rarer recordings in hand-made sleeves and a variety of formats was timely.

Another arrival this week was a package from Allsorted Records based in Norwich. Allsorted’s Dudley had contacted me earlier in the year to ask about registering the label’s recordings with the BL. I was happy to point out that there is no registration process – just send us your records and they will be processed and added to our collection.

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We don’t have the benefit of compulsory legal deposit for sound recordings so have to rely on donations. There are long-standing arrangements with the major record companies and we receive almost daily deliveries from them, but it is more time-consuming to track down smaller independent labels and make arrangements with them so we are always trying to play catch-up.

One label that is very familiar with the BL’s collection of recordings is Public Information, whose co-founder Alex Wilson is Video Manager in the BL’s Sound and Vision department. Alex brought in the two most recent releases in their catalogue this week and we now have a complete run of their output.

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We hope to further increase the acquisition of recordings from Independent labels over the forthcoming months so if you are involved in a label you may well hear from Jamie or myself. Alternatively you can e-mail [email protected] to tell us about your label and we will happily arrange to receive your recordings.


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