Top of page

Research Center Recorded Sound Research Center

Obtaining Copies of Audio Materials

The National Audio-Visual Conservation Center (NAVCC) requires anyone wishing to obtain copies to secure written permission for the Library to make the reproductions from any and all rights holders. Rights holders may include donors, copyright holders, record companies, artists, radio networks, licensing organizations, unions, etc.

While Recorded Sound Research Center staff can usually be of some assistance in determining what permissions are required, the responsibility is on the researcher to obtain them. We strongly urge requestors to listen to recordings before ordering copies. Since our cataloging information occasionally derives from incomplete or inaccurate sources, we cannot guarantee that our catalog records for unpublished materials reflect the contents. In addition, the audio quality may vary, as it is dependent on the fidelity and condition of the original recording.

After contacting Recorded Sound Research Center staff to identify the specific items to be copied, customers will be referred to the Division's Public Services Office. Contact the Recorded Sound Research Center at Ask a Librarian or Tel: (202) 707-7833. In addition to other outreach services, the Public Services Office operates a fee-for-service operation for the duplication of audio and moving image materials. The Public Services Office will then contact the customer as detailed below.

Audio Duplication

If you would like to obtain audio copies of material from the Library's collections, follow this procedure:

  1. Contact the Recorded Sound Research Center at Tel: (202) 707-7833 to identify recorded material in the Library's collections. Recorded Sound Research Center staff will advise you of any rights restrictions requiring written permission before the audio duplication can proceed, and will discuss audio formats available for duplication. Refer to the AUDIO TRANSFER RATES and STOCK CHARGES schedule below to review audio formats and costs.
  2. Your request will be forwarded to the Public Services Office (, which will email you an ORDER FOR AUDIO DUPLICATION SERVICES form listing your order, the cost and additional instructions. Prepayment is required based on the cost estimate and the customer is liable for additional charges should any be incurred.
  3. Complete the Order Form and return it to the Public Services Office.
  4. When instructed by the Public Services Office, make payment at, the only option of making payments for Public Services Office orders. allows you to pay by credit card (MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express), debit card or direct debit from your bank account. We do not accept money order or check payments. Pre-payment is required in every instance.
  5. When obtaining permission from a rights holder to use material already digitized, please obtain permission for all recordings on a compilation. Additional charges may apply if the file requires editing by an audio engineer due to rights issues.
  6. Copies are made only when the pre-payment, signed order form, and permissions document (if applicable) are received by the Public Services Office.

Audio Transfer Rates

Effective July 2013

All audio copies are made in the Library's Audio Preservation Unit. Hourly rates are as follows.

Standard Duplication Rate - $126.00/hr
RUSH Duplication Rate - $252.00/hr

  • 15 minute set-up time on all orders
  • 30 minute minimum with 15 minute increments thereafter
  • $20 minimum fee for each litigation order requiring certification. Additional surcharge per item based on the extent of the duplication request.

Cancellation Policy

$25 cancellation fee for all orders over $100. An order may be canceled within 72 hours after an order is submitted for a full refund.

Stock Charges

Digital Download N/C
CD-R* $1.50
Flash Drive 2GB $6.00
Flash Drive 4GB $10.00
Flash Drive 8GB $13.00
Flash Drive 32 GB $52.00

*Please note: the longevity of a recordable CD can be shortened by mishandling, labeling, or writing on the disc's surface. In addition, environmental factors including, but not limited to, high temperature and humidity may decrease the life span of recordable CDs. Dye formulations for recordable C's change frequently, and in the absence of an industry standard, there is no guarantee on the lifespan of the CD-Rs produced for customers.

Digital Files

File Formats

  • BWF (96/24) – Broadcast quality
  • WAV (44.1/16) – CD quality

Delivery Options

  • CD-R or Flash drive purchased from the Library (see stock prices above)
  • Direct download from online Signiant Media Exchange* server. Download links are distributed via e-mail. Some restrictions apply, depending on file sizes.

Signiant Media Exchange may not be compatible with all browsers. Access to the application requires the following:

  • Cookies and JavaScript enabled
  • Pop-up blockers disabled
  • Java runtime installed

Delivery Estimate

Shipping charges for physical media are paid by customer (if you have a FedEx account, you may include your account number on the Order Form and waive the shipping charge noted in the cost estimate).

Duplication from Physical Media

  • Standard - 4-6 weeks
  • Rush - 2-3 weeks

Duplication from Digital Files

  • Standard - 2-3 weeks
  • Rush - 5-7 days


Library of Congress
101 Independence Ave, SE
James Madison Building, LM 113
Recorded Sound Research Center
Washington, DC 20540-4810
View map External link


Public Hours
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Closed Saturdays, Sundays & Federal Holidays