The Garner archive holds a total of approximately (652) discs, including approximately (333) acetates, (162) test pressings, (77) Muzak 16” discs, (42) 14” reference stampers and (38) promotional records. Most have been digitized. Many of the discs are in their original sleeves, often with handwritten annotations by the engineer or producer. Condition ranged from good to excellent, with most very good with minor wear from age and use.
Acetates and test pressings were produced from the master tapes, often in quantities of 10-20 or sometimes more. Acetate discs are created by using a recording lathe to cut a sound-modulated groove into the surface of a special lacquer-coated blank disc. The purpose of the acetate is for the producer to listen to the song on a record surface and determine whether it is of sufficient quality and or balance to go into production. Sometimes they were made for special purposes, and were seldom for sale to the general public.
Stampers, for the two sides of a record are then placed in an oven-like machine where labels are inserted, are basically test pressings on disc. The pressings can be in any quantity, and a stamper usually can make at least 1000 copies unless it breaks because of the heat and needs to be re-done.
Muzak discs are better known as transcription discs, are generally 16” size and usually date from the 1940’s-1950’s, used for radio show recordings.