From the beginning the HMRC has accepted all kinds of music and spoken word recordings and thus has a very wide selection of materials in numerous formats. Among the major musical genres classical predominates, but there are considerable holdings of original cast recordings of movies, musicals and Broadway shows, early jazz and blues, and pop from the 1950s to the 80s. Opera is strongly represented both on disc and on reel-to-reel tapes of broadcast and in-house recordings. Two Texas symphony orchestras (Houston and Austin) continue to deposit their performance recordings. Tapes of radio broadcasts form another significant area, and include the masters of original dramatic productions that were nationally syndicated. The collection of piano rolls offers an intriguing area for study.
Recordings on 78 rpm and LP discs make up the largest sections of the general collection. For details on how to find out what we have see Catalog Access. With the exception of one named collection, all commercial recordings have been added to the general collection.
Among the non-commercial recordings, chiefly on reel-to-reel tape, is a large collection of performances of less familiar classical repertory by American and European orchestras. This includes historic live performances by musicians such as William Kapell, Leopold Stokowski and Serge Koussevitsky.