Also found in: Dictionary.
a systematic collection of sound recordings, including musical, literary, documentary, and special instructional recordings; also, an institution or division of an institution responsible for the collection, special treatment, preservation, and release of such recordings. Government, public, and private record libraries may be generalized or specialized. Educational record libraries have become common in general-education schools (one of the first such schools was founded in the early 20th century in Paris), higher schools, and specialized secondary educational institutions, especially those specializing in music, the theater, pedagogy, and cultural-educational training.
The largest record libraries in the USSR are those of the State House of Broadcasting and Sound Recording, the Central State Archives of Sound Recordings, the All-Union Recording Studio, the Lenin State Library of the USSR, the All-Russian Theatrical Society, and the A. A. Bakhrushin Central Museum of the Theater (all in Moscow) and the Moscow and Leningrad conservatories. Abroad, the largest record libraries are those of the International Scientific Film Library in Brussels (Belgium), the record libraries of the German Academy of Sciences in Berlin and the German State Library in Berlin (German Democratic Republic), the Charles Cros Academy (France), the British Museum Library (Great Britain), and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. (USA). Well-known foreign recording companies maintain unique collections of recordings. Large record libraries usually have divisions for original recordings.