The Largest Radio Music Library in Atlantic Canada Just Got Bigger

Category: community 271

CHSR FM has received a significant music donation from Music NB, adding more than 1000 new titles to the station’s admirable archive.

Matt Carter
Photo: Bond

CHSR’s music library just a got a serious boost. Following a recent reorganization of Music NB’s offices in Moncton, the province’s music industry association needed to find a home for more than a thousand CDs and cassettes released by New Brunswick artists over the past several years. The collection will now join the more than 77,000 albums included in the station’s music library.

“This donation represents more than just a music collection,” said CHSR Station Manager Erin Bond.  “It’s an important historical archive of New Brunswick’s music history. I’m looking forward to making this music accessible again. There might be some real gems in there.”

Located in the Student Union Building on the University of New Brunswick’s Fredericton campus, CHSR’s music library is currently the largest of any community/campus radio station in Atlantic Canada. Its origins date back to the earliest days of the station which was founded in 1961.

Unlike many of today’s commercial stations where music files are accessed and stored in digital formats, community/campus stations like CHSR still catalogue and store physical releases for airplay. Deemed by some to be a dated practice by current industry standards, these physical collections represent an important, valuable and increasingly rare cultural archive.

“We have been accumulating these recordings for about 20 years,” said Music NB’s Dawn Després-Smyth. “They are submissions for the old Sound Initiative funding programs – the Music Industry Development Fund predecessor – and for our Prix MNB Awards and showcases. They were sitting in boxes on our shelves and we felt guilty about not being able to put them to good use.

“We are confident that Erin and her team at CHSR will be able to catalogue them properly and to give those recordings the attention they deserve. And who knows, maybe we’ll be hearing some forgotten NB gems on the CHSR airwaves soon.”

This past summer, with support from a Canada Summer Jobs grant, CHSR was able to hire a summer student to help reorganize and update the station’s massive collection.

“Our summer student Ryan Barrie worked with us for over six weeks to organize, rearrange, and relabel every CD and shelf so the library is now much easier to use,” said Bond. “In doing this a lot of shelf space was freed up, so now is the perfect time to receive a collection like this. These albums will be kept together on shelves acknowledging this important donation from Music NB.”

The collection arrived at CHSR over the weekend and will be catalogued by Bond, who is anxiously looking forward to carving a little archiving time into her schedule.

“I’m going to have fun over the next few weeks going through these,” she said.

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