NL Discography

Search the Discography

The Discography of Newfoundland and Labrador is compiled in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies. It identifies commercial recordings by Newfoundlanders and Labradorians (resident or non-resident) and commercial recordings produced in Newfoundland and Labrador (including those by non-Newfoundlanders). It does not include recordings by non-Newfoundlanders living outside the province who sing Newfoundland songs. Records by large groups such as symphony orchestras which might include one or more Newfoundlanders are also not included. "Commercial" refers to recordings produced for sale or distribution by either individuals privately or by record companies. The database currently includes 33 1/3 rpm albums, cassettes and compact discs. Singles on 45s and 78s are not yet included.

As of May 2014, the database identifies 3100 recordings. About half are held in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies. Purchases of new releases are made on a regular basis and attempts are made to fill in gaps in the collection. Donations of missing titles are most welcome.

The descriptions in the database are searchable by keywords such as names of groups or musicians, titles of recordings, words in song titles, instruments played on the recording, birthplaces of musicians and performers and so on. It is also possible to browse separate alphabetical lists of names, titles of recordings, subjects and song titles. Links to musician and band web pages are provided where available. If the recording is available in the Memorial University Library system, there will be a link to a library holdings record giving its location and call number. Close out the record to return to the database.

The majority of the descriptions are based on actual examination of the recordings. Those that were not available will have details compiled from other sources and the note "Unseen" in the record. Attempts will be made to find these recordings and complete the descriptions.

It is possible to limit your search by year of recording in the Advanced Search.

The truncation symbol in this database is the symbol "*". "Fisher*" will retrieve the words "fisherman", "fishermen", "fishery" and so on.

Given the variations over the years of traditional folk songs, "Uniform song titles" were established and added to records so that by clicking on them, all variations of a particular song could be retrieved at the same time. The Uniform song titles mirror those listed in Paul Mercer's "Newfoundland songs and ballads in print 1842-1974".

Biographical information has been gleaned for the most part from the recording itself, the performer's webpage or from sources in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies. Another database compiled by the Centre is the Newfoundland Periodical Article Bibliography which indexes periodical and magazine articles for Newfoundland content. It contains thousands of citations to articles on music which for the most part can be found in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies.

The Centre for Newfoundland Studies acknowledges the value of an earlier discography, "A Regional Discography of Newfoundland and Labrador 1904-1972" published in 1975 by Memorial University's Folklore and Language Archive. It was compiled by Michael Taft who was a graduate student in the Department of Folklore at the time. An up-to-date discography has been long overdue. The Centre's discography has incorporated titles from the Taft discography in order to make available a comprehensive database which should serve as a springboard for researchers in music and other related fields.

The following people have contributed to this project: Dr. Pat Byrne in Memorial's Dept. of English who provided lists of albums compiled by his students in Folklore 2300 over the years ; Christine Davies, the librarian/archivist at CBC Radio Archives, Roy O'Brien from O'Brien's Music Store, Pauline Cox and Patricia Fulton at Memorial University of Newfoundland's Folklore and Language Archive and Brenda Silk at Radio Newfoundland. Their assistance is greatly appreciated. Many thanks also to the staff of the systems office of the QE II Library and to student assistants Dominique Kane and Krista Upshall.

This will be an ongoing project in the Centre for Newfoundland Studies. The compiler welcomes feedback from anyone who can provide additional titles or make corrections. Please contact Colleen Field ( with input or questions.