Help using the site

To register for access to the Dartmouth Jewish Sound Archive (DJSA):

Use the "Register/Login with Social Media" link in the upper right of this page. Once you have been approved your account will be good for one year.

You will be asked to use one of: Yahoo Facebook or Gmail credentials to register.  This means that you will enter your username and password corresponding to your social media platform of choice.  We use the services of Yahoo/Facebook/Gmail to control access to the DJSA.  We do NOT get to see your credentials, we are only notified that they are correct.

After you have registered, your request will be reviewed and possibly approved, at which time you will receive an email notice.  Most of the time this is quick, but at times it may take a day or two.

Once you have been approved, you may return to our home page and use the SAME "Register/Login with Social Media" link you used to register in order to login.  Use the same username and password that you used to register.

Do NOT ask us what your username or password are, we do not know what they are.  Do NOT ask us what is your NetID, if you are not at Dartmouth as an employee or student, you don't have one.

Lastly, note that we ask for a justification in our application form.  All that is required is that you enter your intended purpose for accessing the DJSA. If you choose not to fill that item, or if you enter anything that makes no sense, you will not be granted access to the DJSA.  We are required to keep those justifications on record so as to be able to provide access to this archive of COPYRIGHTED material for research and education purposes under the legal doctrine of fair use.

If your justification is "for enjoyment" or "I want to download music" or anything that does not constitute appropriate reasons under the doctrine of copyright fair use, we will not be able to approve your request.


Searching for Tracks

We strongly suggest that you familiarize yourself with the Quick Search feature on our site.  You may type any string of character in any script; matches found will be listed.  Searches are case insensitive.  You may also take note of how the system responds to various entries.  For example, if you were to type (note the position of the space character):

"sun"      will return all instances of the string "sun" whether it is at the beginning or end of a word or if it is in the middle.

"sun "     will only return instances where the string is at the end of a word

" sun "    will only return instances where the string stands apart

In the examples above, the quotes are used to make the position of the spaces in the search string visible, however, do not use quotes in your query string.


Media player and playlists

When you are viewing the contents of an album, the media player will appear above the tracks list.  See the figures below for additional explanations.

At the top of the tracks list will be a green header with the buttons: 

Play:                Will play all the tracks in the player queue

Add to Player:   Will add all the tracks to the player

PlayList:           Will add selected tracks to the play list

The player and the playlists operate as two separate lists.  If you wish to play what was saved in the playlist, click the "Playlist" tab at the top right and start the player.

Figure 1.  Playing a single track: press ">" to the left of the track title or add it to the media player using the up arrow.  You may also add it to your playlist.  Use the "Playlist" tab (upper right) to go to your playlist page.

Figure 2.  If you add all the tracks of the current album to the media player, you can then play them all.  The figure shows the controls to play, repeat, randomize and remove tracks from the media player.


How we name albums

You may have been puzzled by how some albums are named.  We try to be consistent and here are some explanations that may clear some of the mystery.

Our archive is organized by albums.  Albums may contain tracks, graphics and text notes.

A track is a single uninterrupted audio recording that belongs with other tracks in a given album.

Graphics are visual items that belong with a particular album.  Typically those are scans of record sleeves and labels.

Notes are text documents written by us and which contain observations made during the digitization process.  A note, for example, could flag the fact that a track in the given list is missing, or that some tracks not listed have been found.  They could also contain technical details about the recording.

In the world of commercial music recordings we are familiar with referencing a particular recording by its performer and title.  That is what we do when it is applicable.  For example:

Aaron Lebedeff - The Happy Litvak Sings - 10inLP - Issue 1

As you can see, this only explains the first two items in this title.  Since we have a very extensive collection of recordings we try to convey more information in any entry's name.  For example, we keep track of the type of recording medium in which a particular album was issued.  For this we use codes like these:

(no code)

12in diameter 33 1/3 RPM microgroove, aka LP


10in diameter 33 1/3 RPM microgroove


10in 78 RPM record, the kind that predates LPs


12in 78 RPM record


Cassette (from the shorthand used in French)


Reel to Reel tape

This explains the 3rd item in the title.

The fourth item indicates that in our collection, we have more than one instance of this particular recording.  Hence the issues numbering.  A given recording may have been published multiple times, or it may have been published for different audiences or markets (e.g. US & abroad).  We do not always know the reason for multiple issues, however any time we find recordings that contain the same material but which have different appearances we assume they're different issues.  You can see what we mean by comparing the Aaron Lebedeff album shown above with the following one:

Aaron Lebedeff - The Happy Litvak Sings - 10inLP - Issue 2

Notice that the first issue labels have green lettering on a light green background, while the second one has white on black labels.

Additional information:  Not all items we have explained here will appear in all entry names.  We don't always know who a performer is.  Sometime we don't have a title for an album.  In those cases we skip those fields.  


How we name tracks

Referring to our note on naming albums (here), you now know the distinction we make between album and tracks.

Recording media consisting of a hard surface with a groove encoding the sound signal generally come with two recorded sides.  In the older format recording (78 RPM records) a single side would contain around 3 minutes (10 in 78s) or up to 4 1/2 minutes (12 in 78s) of sound on a side.  This corresponded most of the time to a single audio track, although there are counterexamples.  Each track will have a name given by the publisher and we usually use that as our track name. 

In the "newer" microgroove formats (10 in LPs and 12i in LPs) the improved technology allowed for much longer recording times, up to 1/2 h on each side of a 12 in LP.  This means that more tracks (or songs) could be inscribed on the discs.  In order to convey the information on the ordering of the tracks in a very obvious fashion, we carry that in our naming convention for the tracks.  For example:

2-9 yerushalayim shel zahav

You will notice a few things with that track...  First it is from a cassette tape, which also comes with two sides.  This track happens to be the 9th on the 2nd side of that tape.  

You may also have noticed that the title consists of Hebrew transliteration into roman characters.  While we have not been consistent throughout the existence of the DJSA (first online in 2002) we have adopted a few standards.  We do not capitalize titles transliterated from languages written with Hebrew script since it does not use capitalization.  We use a fairly well established convention for transforming (transliterating) written Hebrew to readable phonetic English in which in particular: the "CH" sound as in the ending sound of Pesach is spelled ch.

Another standard we have adopted is to use the given spelling(s) for the names of tracks, even if they are wrong.  This is so that users who are familiar with a specfic artist/album/track name can find it by using the same spelling.


More Help Topics 

We like to think that our site is simple enough that you now know all there is to know.  If you find a topic that needs clarification, please contact us.