History & Mission
Since 1998, the GRAMMY-winning reissue label Archeophone Records has been preserving, restoring, and publishing recordings from the acoustic era of sound—the years from 1890 through 1925 when records were made into the acoustic horn, that is, without electricity. Our reissues feature top-notch audio restorations and extensive notes, illustrations, and original research that make these historic recordings accessible. Almost any type of music or spoken-word recording from the acoustic era is within our purview.
Archeophone has produced 81 reissues to date, with material ranging from spoken word and comedy to spirituals, ragtime, pop and early jazz and dance bands. We’ve also provided audio transfers, consultation, and record-finding services for TV shows such as Boardwalk Empire and select PBS presentations.
Our releases have been nominated for 21 Grammy Awards and have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and on NPR. Archeophone is an institutional member of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections and the Antique Phonograph Society. Owners and in-house production team of Richard Martin and Meagan Hennessey are voting members of NARAS’ Producers & Engineers Wing and were co-founders of FirstSounds.org, the research collaborative that unveiled humanity’s first recordings of its own voice in March 2008. In 2011, Martin and Hennessey were honored on Slate.com’s list of 25 cultural innovators of our time.
Archeophone is currently owned and operated in Champaign, Illinois.
Praise for Archeophone
“In the digital age, when liner notes have been reduced to a song name scrolling across a streaming playlist, the husband-and-wife team of Martin and Meagan Hennessey are an anomaly. They gather rarities from the earliest era of recordings, research the music and put out entire books of analysis alongside the music.”
Geoff Edgers, Washington Post
“A wonderfully adventurous Illinois-based label that specializes in exhuming long-forgotten but fascinating sound recordings of the past.”
Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal
“Truly epochal reissues, which unearth completely forgotten chapters of musical history. The tiny Illinois-based Archeophone label has been doing that kind of archaeology for several years now, almost single-handedly championing the popular music of the acoustic recording era.”
Jody Rosen, Slate.com