The cylinder digitization project began in January 2002 as a pilot project with the goal of exploring the feasibility of digitizing the Library's collection of cylinder recordings for online access.
The UCSB Library has several major collections of cylinders and most are available for streaming at the site. The Todd Collection consists of approximately 6,000 cylinders, ranging from brown wax to late Blue Amberols. It is especially strong in two- and four-minute Edison wax cylinders. The Blanche Browning-Rich Collection consists of approximately 1,200 Blue Amberol cylinders from unplayed dealer's inventory, acquired by the library in 2002 from the Rich family of Ogden, Utah. The collection of the late author and discographer William R. Moran is especially strong in operatic cylinders, including many Edison rarities. The Library of Congress and Bowling Green State University also contributed cylinders to the project for digitization. The Fred Williams collection consists of over 1,000 cylinders of concert and military band recordings. The Edouard Pecourt collection contains over 3,000 French cylinders.