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CKUA's Legendary Library

1.5 Million Tracks

A Curated Collection

Often called the heart of the CKUA Radio Network, the music library holds 140 years of sound recordings. The library’s main mission is to serve as a specialized storehouse of recorded sound for CKUA announcers.

CKUA is known for thought-provoking, surprising shows with the power to delight and inspire. This kind of programming can’t be done with a limited collection of pop music. Instead, announcers can draw from a deep well, comprising everything from incredibly obscure works (Folk Music of Kashmir, anyone?) to as-of-yet unreleased albums from the biggest acts of the minute.

Rare Albums On Display in CKUA's Legendary Library

The library is an important historical vault of recorded sound.

The collection contains many recordings that are no longer commercially available, and some that likely don’t exist anywhere else.

There are many wonderful little side notes of history contained in the library. The Beatles albums that have certain songs scratched out (too risqué to be played on air). Records stipulating they were not to be played on the radio (from old regulations protecting radio musicians who made their living playing live on air). Our rare Vogue records, decorated with handpainted artwork.

The library lives in the basement of CKUA’s headquarters in the historic Alberta Hotel in downtown Edmonton.

Why the basement? When you are dealing with hundreds of thousands of records, they get heavy! If you visit, you’ll discover one massive, tidy room with shelf after shelf filled with music. And not just music but poetry, comedy, historical recordings and more — each one representing a moment in history.

The collection is ever-expanding, with hundreds of recordings arriving each week. It keeps our library staff (and amazing volunteers!) busy. It also helps ensure that the music played on the CKUA airwaves is never dull.

Are you an artist looking to get your music played?

We love discovering new music to share with CKUA listeners around the globe.

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Hidden Gems Still Being Discovered

Among the expansive collection are several Vogue Records which left a brief but beautiful mark on the recording industry.

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Have a music collection you'd like to donate?

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