The Inquirer - Internet Archive releases 25,000 digitised 78RPM records for download

THE INTERNET ARCHIVE, which has been quietly caching web pages for the past two decades, also has a few more strings to its bow.

Previously, we've told you about classic video games now playable in-browser as a result of archiving by the team. But the latest release goes back a little further.

The Archive has released 25,000 (count 'em!) digital versions of 78RPM records that were otherwise virtually unplayable and certainly otherwise unavailable.

Working with the Archive of Contemporary Music and preservation specialists George Blood LP, alongside a group of individual volunteers, the discs have been carefully digitised from the originals.

The most popular material for 78s (described by eighties magazine Smash Hits as 'records that break when you tread on them') was shellac - beetle resin. As a result, they're extremely brittle, and many are now so fragile that simply removing them from the sleeve can break them.