Formats include wax cylinders, phonograph records, wire recordings, dictation discs and belts, reel-to-reel audio tapes, audiocassettes, microcassettes, compact discs, and other digital audio formats.
Non-published audio recordings include conference proceedings, dictated notes and letters, field recordings, interviews, lectures, musical performances, radio broadcasts, rehearsals, and other recordings made for private, non-commercial use. Published recordings include music and spoken word from major and historic labels, such as Dial Records.
Notable audio holdings include recordings from the archives of Stella Adler, Norman Bel Geddes, Erle Stanley Gardner, Ross Russell and Dial Records (and Addition to his papers) , John Beecher, Spalding Gray, Norman Mailer, Mel Gussow, and Gloria Swanson papers.
If a listening copy does not exist, patrons may request digitization. The Ransom Center will not duplicate any recordings at risk of damage by the digitization process. Due to copyright and donor restrictions, some recordings are only available in-house and may not be distributed, even for research purposes. Anyone wishing to obtain personal copies must secure written permission from any and all rights holders. Rights holders may include donors, copyright holders, record companies, artists, radio networks, licensing organizations, unions, etc.
A selection of recordings is freely available within the Center's Digital Collections.