The Discography of Newfoundland and Labrador
The Discography of Newfoundland and Labrador is compiled in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies at Memorial University Libraries. It identifies commercial recordings by Newfoundlanders and Labradorians (resident or non-resident) and commercial recordings produced in Newfoundland and Labrador (including those by non-Newfoundlanders). It does not include recordings by non-Newfoundlanders living outside the province who sing Newfoundland songs. Records by large groups such as symphony orchestras which might include one or more Newfoundlanders are also not included. "Commercial" refers to recordings produced for sale or distribution by either individuals privately or by record companies. The database currently includes 33 1/3 rpm albums, cassettes and compact discs. Singles on 45s and 78s are not yet included.
As of June 2019, the database identifies 3600 recordings. About half are held in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies. Purchases of new releases are made on a regular basis and attempts are made to fill in gaps in the collection. Donations of missing titles are most welcome.
The descriptions in the database are searchable by keywords such as names of groups or musicians, titles of recordings, words in song titles, instruments played on the recording, birthplaces of musicians and performers and so on. Links to musician and band web pages are provided where available. If the recording is available in the Memorial University Library system, there will be a link to a library holdings record giving its location and call number.
The majority of the descriptions are based on actual examination of the recordings. Those that were not available will have details compiled from other sources and the note "Unseen" in the record. Attempts will be made to find these recordings and complete the descriptions.
Given the variations over the years of traditional folk songs, "Uniform Song Titles" were established and added to records so that by clicking on them, all variations of a particular song could be retrieved at the same time. The Uniform song titles mirror those listed in Paul Mercer's Newfoundland songs and ballads in print 1842-1974.
Biographical information has been gleaned for the most part from the recording itself, the performer's webpage or from sources in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies. Another database compiled by the Centre is the Periodical Article Bibliography (https://capelin.library.mun.ca/v/pab) which indexes periodical and magazine articles for Newfoundland content. It contains thousands of citations to articles on music which for the most part can be found in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies.
The Centre for Newfoundland Studies acknowledges the value of an earlier discography, A Regional Discography of Newfoundland and Labrador 1904-1972 published in 1975 by Memorial University's Folklore and Language Archive. It was compiled by Michael Taft who was a graduate student in the Department of Folklore at the time. An up-to-date discography has been long overdue. The Centre's discography has incorporated titles from the Taft discography in order to make available a comprehensive database which should serve as a springboard for researchers in music and other related fields.
The following people have contributed to this project: Dr. Pat Byrne in Memorial's Dept. of English who provided lists of albums compiled by his students in Folklore 2300 over the years ; Christine Davies, the librarian/archivist at CBC Radio, Roy O'Brien from O'Brien's Music Store, Pauline Cox and Patricia Fulton at Memorial University of Newfoundland's Folklore and Language Archive and Brenda Silk at Radio Newfoundland. Their assistance is greatly appreciated. A special thank you to Deanna Matthews in CNS who inputs the descriptions on a regular basis.
This is an ongoing project in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies. The compiler welcomes feedback from anyone who can provide additional titles or make corrections. Please contact Colleen Field at (709) 864-7475 or (firstname.lastname@example.org) with input or questions.
Centre for Newfoundland Studies
Queen Elizabeth II Library
Memorial University Libraries
St. John’s, NL A1B 3Y1 Canada
CNS Website: https://www.library.mun.ca/cns/