Issued for worldwide sale by a major international label, such as EMI, HMV, Decca, Harmonia Mundi, Warner and Argo.
The Archive has recordings from defunct and current labels and continues to add the latest new releases to the collection.
Some of the rarest recordings in the Archive, as only a limited number of copies would be pressed and in some instances, just one or two.
A test pressing of 5 or 6 copies allowed an evaluation of the recording by the record company and the Director of Music to be either be put into production or rejected.
Issued mainly for UK sale from labels, current and defunct, who specialise in church and organ music recordings such as Priory, Regent, Herald, Lammas and Abbey.
These were produced from the 1930s onwards for overseas radio stations and were recorded directly onto 78s or LPs from the on-air BBC broadcast.
About 100 copies of each disc were pressed with instructions to destroy after broadcasing. Fortunately, many were not and the Archive has a substantial collection of these historical gems - such as the only recording of Worcester Cathedral under Willcocks.
Over the decades, there have been many hundreds of small labels, often a one-man-band, who produced choir recordings mainly for sale in the local area.
Many of these labels, such as Sound News, offered the facility to press copies of 78s and LPs from the choirs own reel-to-reel tapes.
'One-off' private recordings
Over the years, many commerical videos and DVDs have been issued of services, concerts, choral works, documentaries and TV & film dramas.
Recorded either by the choirmaster or an enthusiastic amateur these recordings are often the only recording of a particular choir or a solo chorister.
They represent some of the greatest gems in the Archive and are historically priceless and irreplacable. services.