n.any physical medium that holds recorded sound Irvine 1953, 266A prominent feature of this pamphlet is its abandonment of the current awkward and chaotic terminology of physical forms in favor of a systematic nomenclature of coined words (phonorecord, phonodisc, phonocylinder, phonotape, phonowire, phonofilm, phonoroll) and a distinction between “aural” and visual versions of the same work.Hall 1971, 357Essential to proper preservation of all phonorecords, disc or tape, is a storage facility temperature-humidity controlled within a range of 60°–70°F for disc (45°–55° is best for tape, where archival preservation is a major consideration) and a range of 45–45% relative humidity.Colby 1972, 14This term may be construed to include histories of the recording industry, the inventors and leaders, its technology and its products (phonorecords and recording and reproducing devices), its managerial and legal affairs, biographies of recording artists and organizations, and what is perhaps most familiar, audiographies. This latter term, coined by Walter Welch, Director of the Audio Archives, Syracuse University, is used here to encompass all listings, wherever found, of every type of phonorecord: disc, tape, wire, cylinder and player piano and organ rolls.Friedman 1968, 608From a library standpoint the scope of preservation includes: care and repair of books; binding (both routine and extra); storage, shelving, cleaning, care in transporting and handling; air conditioning, ventilation; special treatment for newspapers, pamphlets, clippings, maps, films, phonorecords, pictures, rare books, unique material, archives; special processes such as deacidification and lamination; re-enforcement; enemies of books, such as mildew, insects and foxing; replacement of deteriorated material by microforms, reprints; reading and print-out equipment; paper and printing ink.Loe 2004, 66The issue of copyright ownership in archival collections is important because it conveys six exclusive rights: ¶ 1. To reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords ¶ 2. To prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work ¶ 3. To distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public, by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending.LoC 2023cPhonorecord: A material object in which sounds are fixed and from which the sounds can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. A phonorecord may include a cassette tape, an LP vinyl disc, a compact disc, or other means of fixing sounds. A phonorecord does not include those sounds accompanying a motion picture or other audiovisual work.
Archivists now use the term phonorecord primarily in the context of copyright law, and usually while quoting such law. Thus, although this term is used by archivists, it is more so a term of art in law, allowing for a single term to cover any format, analog or digital, of sound recording media. This term is essentially an historical relic in archival discourse. When needed, archivists usually replace it with audio medium or simply medium. A recording of both audio and visual information is not a phonorecord.