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Archive Watch: Rare Spanish Songs Go Online

More than 41,000 Spanish-language songs that go back to the early 1900s were placed online this week by the Chicano Studies Center, a research unit at the University of California at Los Angeles.

The recordings are from the Arhoolie Foundation’s Strachwitz Frontera Collection of Mexican and Mexican American Recordings, the Los Angeles Times reported. It is the largest repository of Mexican and Mexican-American vernacular recordings in existence. The early works, the archives say, are “the foundation for Latino music today, since the singers and musicians who made these records helped popularize and propagate a number of traditions, including regional Mexican, Tejano, Chicano, and Mexican-American music.”

If you are not physically at UCLA, however, don’t expect to hear all the music. Due to copyright restrictions, only campus computers get full access. Off-campus users can hear 50 seconds of each song, see images of the record labels, and read background information about the recordings. —Josh Fischman

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