09 June 2015

0. About

In this little blog I've listed the sources that I find most useful in my online research for post-1945 gospel, blues, rhythm & blues, soul and jazz music. These genres, therefore, are somewhat overrepresented in some categories. Most resources, though, are generically relevant for research in the history of rock, pop, hip hop etc. as well.
Any suggestions for additions to this source list are more than welcome: bob [at] result [dot] com.

8. MISCELLANEOUS

8.1. Misc. Wikis

Wikipedia
User generated articles about music genres, artists, discographies, songs, releases. Rarely entirely accurate, but often very useful. The English version is often the most extensive, but it may be worthwile to check the same lemma in other languages for additional information.
Genres: All
Depth: 8
Breadth: 9
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 9
Database: 8
Search Engine: 7
Writing: 7
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 7
Entertainment: 8
Regions: Global
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 3000 BC - Now

Tsort World's Music Charts
Comprehensive list of 20th century consolidated music chart data. Extra: interesting & entertaining statistics. Always check if Wikipedia has additional information on charts.
Genres: All
Depth: 8
Breadth: 7
File Quality: NA
Accessibility: 8
Database: 9
Search Engine: 7
Writing: 7
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 8
Entertainment: 8
Regions: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Eire, Finland, France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA
Media: Text, Stats
Period: 1900 - Now


8.2. Misc. Collections

Library Of Congress
Catalog info about many music and music related collections and databases in the LoC. Regrettably, description routines and search tools vary enormously, making systematic research virtually impossible. But it's often worth the trouble to try out more intuitive search approaches.
Genres: All
Depth: 7
Breadth: 7
File Quality: 6
Accessibility: 5
Database: 5
Search Engine: 5
Writing: NA
Interface: 5
Accuracy: 8
Entertainment: 6
Regions: USA
Media: Text, Photo, Audio, Video
Period: 1700 - Now

Europeana
Pan-European culture website. It lacks a clear proposition or concept, but it entails some good audio, video, photo and text content from many museums, archives, libraries and AV collections. They've announced to also aggregate 18 million newspaper pages from 18 partner institutions, sometime in the future.
Genres: All
Depth: 5
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 6
Accessibility: 7
Database: 6
Search Engine: 6
Writing: NA
Interface: 5
Accuracy: 5
Entertainment: 5
Regions: Europe, Global
Media: Audio, Video, Photo, Text
Period: All

UbuWeb
The "Robin Hood of avant-garde" content, "based on the peripheries of artistic production rather than on the perceived, or market-based, center".
Genres: All
Depth: 4
Breadth: 4
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 6
Database: 5
Search Engine: 6
Writing: 8
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 8
Entertainment: 8
Regions: Global
Media: Audio, Video
Period: 1920 - Now

Internet Archive
Millions of free books, movies, software, music, and more.
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 7
File Quality: 6
Accessibility: 5
Database: 4
Search Engine: 5
Writing: NA
Interface: 4
Accuracy: 5
Entertainment: 6
Regions: Global
Media: Audio, Video, Photo, Text
Period: 1920 - Now


8.3. Misc. Oddities TIP!

Db Etree
Community of music collectors, collaborating on a database of live concert recordings, and facilitating 1:1 file exchange.
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 4
Accessibility: 5
Database: 6
Search Engine: 5
Writing: 5
Interface: 4
Accuracy: 5
Entertainment: 4
Regions: All
Media: Text
Period: 1950 - Now

Who Sampled
Helps to dig deeper into music by discovering direct connections between songs and artists, in all genres: covers, rip-offs, samples.
Genres: Pop, Rock, Jazz, Blues, Soul, Rap, Hip Hop
Depth: 5
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 6
Accessibility: 7
Database: 6
Search Engine: 6
Writing: 6
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 7
Entertainment: 8
Regions: Global
Media: Text (describing audio)
Period: 1920 - Now

Dead Rock Stars Club
Amazing, concise but well annotated, list of dead rock musicians and singers, dead people associated with rock and dead people whose music helped influence and create rock, including jazz and country artists.
Genres: Rock, Pop, Country, Blues, Soul, Jazz
Depth: 5
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 6
Accessibility: 6
Database: 6
Search Engine: 5
Writing: 7
Interface: 4
Accuracy: 7
Entertainment: 6
Regions: USA, UK, Global
Media: Text
Period: 1788 - Now

Africanafrican
Hotchpotch of sources on African American cultural history, including music. Small treasures hidden behind many (sometimes: obsolete) links.
Genres: Jazz, Blues, Soul
Depth: 3
Breadth: 3
File Quality: 5
Accessibility: 7
Database: 3
Search Engine: NA
Writing: 5
Interface: 3
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 7
Regions: USA
Media: Audio, Video, Photo, Text
Period: 19th century - Now

Maison Du Jazz
Belgian jazz music shop with a remarkable collection of TV show videos and live concert videos, including many rarities (which you may find if you're very patient while handling this awkward website).
Genres: Jazz, Blues, Soul
Depth: 5
Breadth: 5
File Quality: NA
Accessibility: 7
Database: 5
Search Engine: 4
Writing: NA
Interface: 4
Accuracy: 4
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Global
Media: Text
Period: 1920 - Now

7. NEWSPAPERS & PERIODICALS

Editorial content (concert announcements, reviews, interviews, gossip, written portraits, photos) and ads often help to connect the dots in biographies and live achievements.
The average newspaper hides its archive (at least pages older than 5 or 10 year) behind a paywall, but in a few more civilized markets (Italy, Spain!) the best newspapers share their complete archives online for free.
For 'black' music, if you can, try to lay your hands on digital copies of Franz Hoffmann's, Jazz Reviewed 1910-1967 out of the New England Negro Press; Vol. 1, 1910 - 1950  (Berlin, Private press, 1995) and Jazz Advertised in the Negropress; 8 vols (Berlin, Private press, 1980 - 1989).

7.1. Newspapers & periodicals - international
Although their contents are behind paywalls, you simply can't do without Proquest and Newsbank. You may be able to get access through your (public, college or university) library.

Proquest
Fantastic online content provider with huge collection of newspapers (including the most important African American titles) and magazines (including entertainment titles such as Variety). They've productized their properties in several packages, so watch out what you buy.
Genres: All
Depth: 9
Breadth: 8
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 5
Database: 7
Search Engine: 9
Writing: 7
Interface: 8
Accuracy: 8
Entertainment: 8
Regions: USA, Global
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1720 - Now

Newsbank
Collection of thousands of newspapers, only accessible through public, college and university libraries, and through some genealogy websites. Also cf. the products of their daughter company Readex, with several collections of American ethnic newspapers.
Genres: All
Depth: 7
Breadth: 7
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 5
Database: 6
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 5
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 7
Regions: USA, Global
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1720 - Now

Elephind
Collection of more than 2,000 newspapers (incl. some U.S. university newspapers).
Genres: All
Depth: 5
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 8
Database: 6
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 6
Regions: USA, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1720 - Now


7.2. Newspapers & periodicals - local/regional
It's a pity and a shame that newspaper archives aren't accessible for free in many a civilized country (France, Germany, Scandinavia, Japan, most of LatAm). For exceptions also check this list. And don't despair - many state subsidized digitization projects are in the process of being deployed around the globe.
For post-1950 pop, rock, blues and jazz history also check the multitude of American collegiate newspapers (many listed here).

Google Newspapers (USA, Canada, Mexico)
Historic newspapers. One of the worst jobs Google ever did, but the database includes many gems, e.g. a few important African American titles, with lots of articles and ads relevant to jazz, r&b and soul music.
Genres: Jazz, R&B, Soul
Depth: 5
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 5
Accessibility: 7
Database: 5
Search Engine: 4
Writing: 5
Interface: 4
Accuracy: 5
Entertainment: 6
Regions: USA, Canada, Mexico
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1750 - Now

Fulton History (USA) TIP!
Search over 30M newspaper pages from the U.S. (many titles from the North East) and Canada. Surprisingly good content.
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 4
Accessibility: 7
Database: 4
Search Engine: 6
Writing: NA
Interface: 4
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 7
Regions: USA
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1830 - Now

Smalltownpapers (USA)
U.S. newspaper archive with 250 small titles (search per title).
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 7
Database: 8
Search Engine: 5
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 5
Regions: USA
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1846 - Now

Folha (Brazil)
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 8
Database: 8
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 8
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Brazil
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1921 - Now

Estado (Brazil)
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 8
Database: 8
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Brazil
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1870 - Now

Trove (Australia)
Australian newspaper and periodicals archive.
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 8
Database: 7
Search Engine: 8
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 6
Regions: Australia
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1803 - Now

NewspaperSG (Singapore)
Singapore newspaper archive.
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 4
Accessibility: 6
Database: 6
Search Engine: 6
Writing: NA
Interface: 5
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 5
Regions: Singapore
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1831 - 2009

Timarit (Iceland) TIP!
Icelandic historical newspaper and periodical resource (also titles from the Faroe Islands and Greenland).
Genres: All
Depth: 8
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 7
Database: 8
Search Engine: 8
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Iceland, Faroe Islands, Greenland
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1815 - Now

Delpher (Netherlands)
Excellent archive of Dutch newspapers, magazines and books.
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 8
Database: 8
Search Engine: 8
Writing: NA
Interface: 8
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Netherlands, Netherlands Antilles, Surinam, Indonesia
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1618 - 1995

Scriptorium Lausanne (Switzerland)
Swiss (French language) archive for newspapers from the Lausanne canton.
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 6
Accessibility: 7
Database: 6
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Switzerland (Lausanne canton)
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1732 - Now

La Vanguardia (Spain)
Excellent Spanish newspaper archive.
Genres: All
Depth: 5
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 8
Database: 7
Search Engine: 8
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Spain, Catalonia
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1881 - Now
La Stampa

La Stampa (Italy)
Excellent newspaper archive.
Genres: All
Depth: 5
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 8
Database: 7
Search Engine: 8
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 6
Regions: Italy
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1867 - Now


7.3. Periodicals

Billboard
Music trade magazine. Necessary information on charts, releases, artists, record companies. Note that the Google collection is not complete! The way Google made all issues accessible is disappointing, but when you're patient and work systematically, you'll be able to extract everything you need.
Genres: Pop, Rock, Blues, Soul, Rap, Hip Hop, Jazz
Depth: 8
Breadth: 8
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 7
Database: 6
Search Engine: 5
Writing: 8
Interface: 5
Accuracy: 8
Entertainment: 8
Regions: USA, Global
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1940 - Now

Jet TIP!
African American entertainment magazine. Lots of information (and gossip!) on artists. The way Google made all issues accessible is disappointing, but when you're patient and work systematically, you'll be able to extract everything you need.
Genres: Pop, Blues, Soul, Hip Hop, Jazz
Depth: 8
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 7
Database: 6
Search Engine: 5
Writing: 7
Interface: 5
Accuracy: 7
Entertainment: 9
Regions: USA
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1951 - 2005

Ebony
African American human interest magazine. Lots of information (and gossip!) on artists. When you're patient and work systematically, you'll be able to extract everything you need.
Genres: Pop, Blues, Soul, Hip Hop, Jazz
Depth: 7
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 7
Database: 6
Search Engine: 5
Writing: 8
Interface: 5
Accuracy: 8
Entertainment: 9
Regions: USA
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1959 - 2008

Starducine
Database of European (mainly French) film magazines and magazines with film content (incl. many reproductions of full articles).
Genres: All
Depth: 7
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 7
Database: 7
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Europe, France
Media: Text (describing movie content)
Period: 1920 - Now

08 June 2015

6. DISCOGRAPHY

6.1. Discographies

All Music
All Music offers information about albums, musicians and songs; reviews, ratings and picks, sound samples and streaming links. Far from complete and far from entirely accurate, but still helpfull.
Genres: All
Depth: 7
Breadth: 7
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 7
Database: 6
Search Engine: 7
Writing: 6
Interface: 7
Accuracy: 6
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Global
Media: Audio, Text
Period: 1920 - Now

Blues Database
Repository of ~2000 artists & bands, ~20,000 CD's and ~340,000 blues songs.
Genres: Blues
Depth: 7
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 5
Accessibility: 7
Database: 6
Search Engine: 6
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 7
Entertainment: 6
Regions: USA, UK
Media: Text (describing audio)
Period: 1930 - Now

JazzDisco TIP!
A guide to jazz recordings (focused on sessions), centered around musicians and labels, compiled and maintained by a group of skilled jazz discographers.
Genres: Jazz
Depth: 8
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 8
Database: 8
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 5
Accuracy: 9
Entertainment: 6
Regions: USA
Media: Text (describing audio)
Period: 1930 - Now

Jazz Standards
Ranks the Top 1,000 jazz standards and fully documents the Top 300. With CD recommendations, musician comments, history notes, research guide, soundtracks, analysis, notes on origins.
Genres: Jazz
Depth: 5
Breadth: 4
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 8
Database: 8
Search Engine: 7
Writing: 8
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 8
Entertainment: 7
Regions: USA
Media: Text (describing audio)
Period: 1890 - Now

Soulful Kinda Music
Currently over a 1,000 artists and 650 label discographies. Far from complete, rarely entirely accurate, but often useful.
Genres: Soul
Depth: 7
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 6
Accessibility: 7
Database: 7
Search Engine: 6
Writing: 6
Interface: 5
Accuracy: 6
Entertainment: 7
Regions: USA
Media: Text
Period: 1950 - Now

Sir Shambling's Deep Soul Heaven TIP!
Well-researched and well-written articles on soul music and the artists who made it, with audio samples.
Genres: Soul
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 9
Accessibility: 7
Database: 5
Search Engine: 6
Writing: 8
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 9
Entertainment: 9
Regions: USA
Media: Audio
Period: 1950 - 1980


6.2. Discography Help Tools

Discogs TIP!
Comprehensive music database and marketplace. Increasingly accurate source for discographers.
Genres: All
Depth: 9
Breadth: 9
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 8
Database: 8
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 8
Entertainment: 8
Regions: Global
Media: Text, Photo (describing audio records)
Period: 1920 - Now

45cat, 45world
User generated discographic database for vinyl singles and albums (the first far more developed than the latter). Best cover & label artwork repository.
Genres: All
Depth: 8
Breadth: 8
File Quality: 9
Accessibility: 8
Database: 7
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 8
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Global
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1920 - Now

MusicBrainz
Wiki-like open resource for music metadata.
Genres: All
Depth: 7
Breadth: 7
File Quality: 6
Accessibility: 7
Database: 7
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 7
Entertainment: 6
Regions: Global
Media: Text (describing audio)
Period: 1920 - Now

5. AUCTIONS & MARKETPLACES

Marketplaces, auction sites and auction results aggregators are valuable sources for music collectibles and memorabilia - the more since sellers increasingly document their offerings with photos of their goods. Below is a shortlist of the moste interesting international players, but it's worth your time to also check smaller local and regional players.

5.1. Auction Sites

Ebay
World's biggest P2P marketplace & auction site, including loads of records, videos, music collectibles and music memorabilia. Their search features come with excellent filters (don't forget to try out "completed" and "wordwide").
Genres: All
Depth: 8
Breadth: 8
File Quality: 6
Accessibility: 8
Database: 8
Search Engine: 8
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 5
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Global
Media: Text, Photo, Document
Period: 1900 - Now

Amazon
Interesting for their huge collection of new and secondhand records (users' reviews sometimes entail interesting bits of knowledge), for their P2P marketplace (although it's much smaller than Ebay's), but mainly for the "Look Inside" feature in their books section.
Genres: All
Depth: 5
Breadth: 8
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 6
Database: 8
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 5
Accuracy: 7
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Global
Media: Text, Photo, Document
Period: 1900 - Now


5.2. Marketplaces

Gemm
P2P marketplace for records, also including collectibles and music memorabilia.
Genres: All
Depth: 7
Breadth: 7
File Quality: 4
Accessibility: 7
Database: 7
Search Engine: 6
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 5
Entertainment: 5
Regions: All
Media: Text, Photo, Document
Period: 1950 - Now

Delcampe
International P2P marketplace for collectibles.
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 7
Database: 6
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 6
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Global
Media: Photo, Document
Period: 1880 - Now


5.3. Auction Result Aggregators

Worthpoint TIP!
Database of +265 M items (and their images) sold or auctioned on Ebay and other auction websites. Includes many music collectibles and memorabilia.
Genres: All
Depth: 8
Breadth: 7
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 7
Database: 6
Search Engine: 6
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 5
Entertainment: 6
Regions: Global
Media: Text, Photo, Document
Period: 1900 - Now

Invaluable
Aggregator of auction results.
Genres: All
Depth: 7
Breadth: 7
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 7
Database: 7
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: 6
Entertainment: 6
Regions: Global
Media: Text, Photo, Document
Period: 1900 - Now

LiveAuctioneers
Aggregates wordwide auction results, including music collectibles and memorabilia.
Focus on searching within the "Sold" section!
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 7
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 8
Database: 8
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: 7
Entertainment: 6
Regions: All
Media: Text, Photo, Document
Period: 1880 - Now

Popsike
Aggregates (often: rare!) records auction results (dominated by Ebay data).
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 6
Accessibility: 8
Database: 6
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 6
Regions: Global
Media: Text, Photo
Period: 1940 - Now

4. IMAGES

You can't do without photo archives and image search engines if you want to fill in the more granular data about artists and bands. But beware, photo annotations can never be fully trusted.

4.1. Photostock Collections
Getty and Corbis have created what's almost a duopoly, and Getty is coming closer and closer to become an almost-monopolist, but it's still worth the trouble to check any remaining local players and international or local photo sharing sites (like Flickr and Picassa). Also see Wikipedia for a decent list of photo archives.

Getty Images
Excellent stock photo resource, with a reasonably good but much less important video section (incl. BBC stock). A big portion of the photos can be published for free on not for profit websites if you use their embed codes. Photo annotations are often erroneous. Search results are depending heavily on where you are; if you're not in the U.S., always try the .com website plus country extensions for other markets (.fr, .de, com.au, etc.).
Genres: All
Depth: 8
Breadth: 8
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 8
Database: 8
Search Engine: 9
Writing: NA
Interface: 8
Accuracy: 5
Entertainment: 6
Regions: Global
Media: Photo, Video
Period: 1880 - Now

Corbis Images
Good stock photo resource. Photo annotations are often erroneous.
Genres: All
Depth: 7
Breadth: 7
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 8
Database: 8
Search Engine: 8
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: 5
Entertainment: 6
Regions: Global
Media: Photo
Period: 1880 - Now

Topfoto
One of the last independent photo stock agencies. Images are watermarked.
Genres: All
Depth: 4
Breadth: 4
File Quality: 4
Accessibility: 5
Database: 5
Search Engine: 6
Writing: NA
Interface: 5
Accuracy: 5
Entertainment: 5
Regions: UK, USA, Germany, Russia, Denmark, Global
Media: Photo
Period: 1920 - Now

Time/Life
Curated selections from the combined photo archives of these terrific publications (and a few other interesting titles like People and Entertainment Weekly) are published online frequently, but then again many of these vignets are taken offline after a while. The only way to search the collection, is through Google (but this often leads to dead links; you can still find their search box here, but it's dysfunctional).
Genres: All
Depth: 4
Breadth: 4
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 3
Database: 5
Search Engine: 1
Writing: NA
Interface: 5
Accuracy: 6
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Global
Media: Photo
Period: 1920 - Now

Google Cultural Institute TIP!
Picture collections from museums and other cultural resources - including e.g. rest materials from the Life photo archive.
Genres: All
Depth: 4
Breadth: 4
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 4
Database: 5
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 5
Accuracy: 5
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Global
Media: Photo, Illustration
Period: BC - Now


4.2. Photo Search Engines

Google Images
Biggest photo resource in the world. Photos on the web are only rarely named or annotated in a way that Google can cope with. When searching, use your fantasy, don't avoid far fetched associations, keep on trying - there's always more!
Genres: All
Depth: 9
Breadth: 9
File Quality: 5
Accessibility: 8
Database: 5
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 5
Accuracy: 5
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Global
Media: Photo, Illustrations
Period: B.C. - Now

Picsearch
Photo search engine offering lots of rare, often user generated, images.
Genres: All
Depth: 5
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 4
Accessibility: 7
Database: 6
Search Engine: 6
Writing: NA
Interface: 5
Accuracy: 5
Entertainment: 5
Regions: Global
Media: Photo
Period: 1820 - Now

3. CONCERT & TOUR DATA

Setlist.fm
User generated database of tour dates and setlists. Far from complete, rarely entirely accurate, but often useful.
Genres: All
Depth: 5
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 5
Accessibility: 7
Database: 6
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NH
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 6
Entertainment: 5
Regions: Global
Media: Text
Period: 1890 - Now

Tour Information
Historical information about tours by Chuck Berry, and 17 other rock, soul and blues greats.
Genres: Rock, Blues, Soul
Depth: 7
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 6
Accessibility: 6
Database: 6
Search Engine: 4
Writing: NA
Interface: 5
Accuracy: 4
Entertainment: 6
Regions: Global, USA
Media: Text
Period: 1950 - Now

LookAtStubs
Huge collection of ticket stubs from concerts in all popular genres. HQ ticket reproductions only visible for premium subscribers and people who have something to trade. The site also has a Rockstuff zone, selling access to reproductions of ads, documents, autographs, backstage passes, flyers, setlists, memorabilia, photos, concert reviews, etc.
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 9
Accessibility: 3
Database: 6
Search Engine: 6
Writing: NA
Interface: 4
Accuracy: NA
Entertainment: 4
Regions: All
Media: Document
Period: 1950 - Now

2. ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE

With a few pleasant exceptions, the following services do not abundantly share their content online. At least, not with everyone (many are catering to professional content buyers and media researchers, and require a registration/subscription). But their file descriptions are an invaluable source when it comes to complete information about artists' lives, itineraries and gigs. They frequently also entail interviews with artists. Often, a small but interesting part of the content is available in watermarked or time-coded thumbnail videos. There may well be local 'versions' of the services listed here in your market.

2.1. TV Show & Radio Content

INA, INA MediaPro, Inathèque TIP!
France's biggest gift to the media world: by far the best and most expansive source for streaming audio and video content, conserving 12,000,000 hours of French national and regional TV and radio programs (from 1949 to now), including enormous amounts of music. The public website, Ina.fr, gives direct access to a respectable 43,000 hours, mostly for free; InaMediaPro gives access to an incredible 1,000,000 hours of streaming content, most of it digitized. The catalog of the complete collection can be searched at the Inathèque website.
Genres: All
Depth: 9
Breadth: 9
File Quality: 9
Accessibility: 7
Database: 8
Search Engine: 9
Writing: NA
Interface: 8
Accuracy: 7
Entertainment: 9
Regions: France, Global
Media: Audio, Video
Period: 1940 - Now

Historic Films
Describes 50,000 hours of music show footage. Most of it is about American music and comes from U.S. TV stations, the rest is from European broadcasters. To view any of it, you'll have to subscribe as a pro stock buyer (be it, that a lot of the content has leaked to YouTube).
Genres: Blues, Country, Gospel, Jazz, Pop, Rap, Rock, Soul
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 5
Database: 5
Search Engine: 5
Writing: NA
Interface: 5
Accuracy: 6
Entertainment: 6
Regions: Global, USA, UK, Europe
Media: Text (describing video)
Period: 1940 - Now

Reelin' In The Years
Database describing 20,000 hours of  quality music footage, including concerts, news reels and e.g. The Merv Griffin Show collection, The Sir David Frost Archive, and The Rona Barrett Archive. Some of the Griffin files can be viewed on YouTube.
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 6
Accessibility: 7
Database: 6
Search Engine: 6
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 7
Entertainment: 7
Regions: USA
Media: Text (referring to video)
Period: 1920 - Now

Video Beat
Rare out-of-print and public domain youth culture films and documentaries from the 1950s & 1960s, for sale on DVD.
Genres: Pop, Rock, Blues, Soul, Jazz
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 6
Database: 6
Search Engine: 6
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 6
Entertainment: 7
Regions: USA, Rock
Media: Text (describing video content)
Period: 1950 - 1970

Global ImageWorks
GIW offers footage from many sources, including entertainment and variety TV shows. Their portfolio includes Soul Train (1971-2006), with over 1100 hours of music programming and Omnibus, the cultural arts series (1952-1961). Some of the content can be previewed.
Genres: All, Soul
Depth: 7
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 7
Database: 6
Search Engine: 6
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 6
Entertainment: 6
Regions: USA
Media: Text (decribing video footage)
Period: 1920 - Now

HBO Archives
Archive of HBO programs (music shows, concerts, documentaries), often offered at the level of pre-edit rushes.
Genres: All
Depth: 5
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 6
Accessibility: 6
Database: 6
Search Engine: 6
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 6
Entertainment: 7
Regions: USA
Media: Text (describing video)
Period: 1970 - Now

Soul!
Several episodes from Channel 13's legendary music program (also cf. YouTube for more shows).
Genres: Soul
Depth: 4
Breadth: 4
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 7
Database: 5
Search Engine: 5
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 5
Entertainment: 7
Regions: USA
Media: Video
Period: 1970s

Association For Cultural Equity (ACE) TIP!
Founded by Alan Lomax, stimulating cultural equity through preservation, research, and dissemination of the world's traditional music. Also cf. their YouTube video channel.
Genres: Blues, Folk, Roots, World
Depth: 7
Breadth: 7
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 7
Database: 8
Search Engine: 7
Writing: 6
Interface: 5
Accuracy: 8
Entertainment: 8
Regions: Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Europe, LatAm, USA
Media: Audio, Video
Period: 1930 - Now


2.2. News Footage

ITN Source 
Meta-search for third party (Reuters, Fox News, Fox Movietone, Granada, Gaumont, British Paramount a.o.) stock content, with lots of music and music related news items. A small portion of the clips can be previewed.
Genres: All
Depth: 7
Breadth: 7
File Quality: 6
Accessibility: 7
Database: 7
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: 6
Entertainment: 6
Regions: Global, USA, UK
Media: Text (referring to videos)
Period: 1896 - Now.

Footage.net
Offers metasearch results (including a fair number of time-coded video clips) from a number of good sources for stock, archival and news footage.
Genres: All
Depth: 7
Breadth: 7
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 7
Database: 7
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: 7
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Global
Media: Text (decribing video footage)
Period: 1930 - Now

ABC News Video Source
ABC news database with fair amount of documentary footage of musicians and music events. A fair amount of the clips can be previewed by everyone, other footage can be screened by pro subscribers on request.
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 6
Accessibility: 6
Database: 6
Search Engine: 6
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 6
Entertainment: 6
Regions: USA
Media: Text (describing video)
Period: 1949 - Now

NBC Universal Archives
Catalog of music related stock footage with interviews, documentaries, news reports and entertainment stories. With a small percentage of time-coded thumbnail previews.
Genres: All
Depth: 5
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 6
Accessibility: 6
Database: 6
Search Engine: 6
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 6
Entertainment: 6
Regions: USA
Media: Text (decribing video)
Period: Late 1940s - Now

AP Archive
Associated Press' film and video archive, encompassing 1.7 M news and entertainment stories, including lots of music related footage.
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 5
Accessibility: 6
Database: 7
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 5
Entertainment: 5
Regions: Global
Media: Video
Period: 1895 - Now

F.I.L.M. Archives
Database describing vintage news content, TV shows, commercials, including music-relevant footage.
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 6
Accessibility: 6
Database: 6
Search Engine: 6
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 7
Entertainment: 6
Regions: USA
Media: Text (referring to video)
Period: 1910 - Now

WPA Film Library
Database describing archival TV and film content, including classic pre-MTV music television shows like Hullabaloo and Music Scene, music news and music documentary footage.
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 6
Accessibility: 6
Database: 6
Search Engine: 6
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 6
Entertainment: 7
Regions: USA
Media: Text (decribing video)
Period: 1890 - Now


2.3. Footage Databases

Paley Center
Their permanent media collection contains over 160,000 vintage television and radio programs (many of them extremely rare) and advertisements, available both in New York and Los Angeles. The online database offers (often rudimentary) synopses and production credits.
Genres: All
Depth: 7
Breadth: 6
File Quality: 6
Accessibility: 7
Database: 7
Search Engine: 6
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 6
Entertainment: 7
Regions: USA
Media: Text (referring to video)
Period: 1920 - Now

IMDb
User curated film and TV database, often paying attention to music scores and sound tracks, and listing artists' cameos and music guests. None of the content can be trusted to be accurate. Quite a lot of the films are presented with their original trailers.
Genres: All
Depth: 8
Breadth: 8
File Quality: 6
Accessibility: 7
Database: 7
Search Engine: 5
Writing: 6
Interface: 5
Accuracy: 5
Entertainment: 8
Regions: Global, USA, UK
Media: Text (describing film, video)
Period: 1910 - Now

TV.com
One of many user generated databases describing TV shows and episodes. The problems (incomplete, inaccurate) are even bigger than with IMDb, but they sometimes offer valuable additions.

1. PRIMARY MUSIC RESOURCES

1.1. Streaming Audio
I have limited this list to the free and freemium services with a huge geographic footprint and huge collections. In most markets you'll find local and/or regional (mostly U.S.-oriented) alternatives (Pandora, Rdio, Rhapsody, Beats, Google Music, iTunes).

Spotify
Streaming music service.
Genres: All
Depth: 9
Breadth: 7
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 8
Database: 6
Search Engine: 5
Writing: NA
Interface: 5
Accuracy: 6
Entertainment: 9
Regions: Global
Media: Audio
Period: 1920 - Now

Last.fm
Streaming music (audio & video) service.
Genres: All
Depth: 7
Breadth: 7
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 8
Database: 6
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 7
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Global, UK
Media: Audio, Video
Period: 1920 - Now

Kboing TIP!
Surprisingly extensive streaming music resource. Includes many rare recordings.
Genres: All
Depth: 8
Breadth: 7
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 8
Database: 8
Search Engine: 8
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: 7
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Global, Brazil
Media: Audio
Period: 1920 - Now


1.2. Video & Audio Sharing
Never trust uploaders' annotations or comments - just consider the resources listed below to be a starting point for further research. The rarest files tend to disappear from YouTube because the bigger rights holders police it intensively (but check the Russian and Asian klones to see if anything has escaped their attention there). Use the "Long (> 20 minutes)" filters to find full films, documentaries, concerts, albums more quickly.

YouTube
Global platform for discovering, watching and sharing video and audio.
Genres: All
Depth: 9
Breadth: 9
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 9
Database: 6
Search Engine: 8
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: 6
Entertainment: 9
Regions: Global
Media: Video, Audio
Period: 1910 - Now

Mail.ru Video TIP!
Russian platform for discovering, watching and sharing video and audio. Often offers access to clips which were deleted from YouTube.
Genres: All
Depth: 8
Breadth: 8
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 7
Database: 7
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 5
Entertainment: 8
Regions: Global, Russia
Media: Video, Audio
Period: 1920 - Now

Yandex
Russian platform for discovering, watching and sharing video and audio. Often offers access to clips which were deleted from YouTube.
Genres: All
Depth: 7
Breadth: 7
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 7
Database: 7
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 5
Accuracy: 5
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Global, Russia
Media: Video, Audio
Period: 1920 - Now

Nate
Some music that always disappears from YouTube tends to be kept available on this Korean klone.
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 7
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 7
Database: 6
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: 6
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Global, Korea
Media: Video, Audio
Period: 1940 - Now

Soku
Some music that always disappears from YouTube tends to be kept available on this Chinese klone. They're not generous when it comes to sharing their bandwidth and server power with the West.
Genres: All
Depth: 7
Breadth: 7
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 6
Database: 6
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: 6
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Global, China
Media: Video, Audio
Period: 1940 - Now

Daily Motion
YouTube-like content with a European touch, but they've seen better times.
Genres: All
Depth: 6
Breadth: 7
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 6
Database: 6
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: 6
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Global, Europe, France
Media: Video, Audio
Period: 1940 - Now

Vimeo
Offers HQ video content, always worth a check.
Genres: All
Depth: 4
Breadth: 4
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 6
Database: 5
Search Engine: 5
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: 6
Entertainment: 6
Regions: Global
Media: Video, Audio
Period: 1940 - Now

1.3. Audio Sharing
These services mainly offer 'new' indie music, uploaded by makers and their fans.

Soundcloud
Lets anyone create, record, promote and share music on the web.
Genres: All
Depth: 7
Breadth: 7
File Quality: 9
Accessibility: 8
Database: 7
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: 7
Entertainment: 7
Regions: Global
Media: Audio
Period: 1950 - Now

Mixcloud
Collection of radio shows, podcasts & mixes.
Genres: All
Depth: 5
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 8
Database: 6
Search Engine: 6
Writing: NA
Interface: 7
Accuracy: 8
Entertainment: 6
Regions: Global
Media: Audio
Period: 1910 - Now


1.4. Audio Resources

SugarMegs TIP!
Biggest online collection of live concerts; many files boardmixes or 'taped from the audience'.
Genres: All
Depth: 8
Breadth: 8
File Quality: 7
Accessibility: 8
Database: 7
Search Engine: 5
Writing: NA
Interface: 3
Accuracy: 5
Entertainment: 9
Regions: All
Media: Audio
Period: 1960 - Now

Red Hot Jazz
The Red Hot Jazz Archive is a place to study and enjoy early jazz. It combines the best of books and audio recordings. Don't miss the RHJA forum.
Genres: Jazz
Depth: 7
Breadth: 4
File Quality: 6
Accessibility: 6
Database: 6
Search Engine: 6
Writing: 7
Interface: 4
Accuracy: 8
Entertainment: 7
Regions: USA
Media: Audio, Text
Period: 1890 - 1930

Sinner's Crossroads TIP!
Podcast series on "scratchy vanity 45s, pilfered field recordings, muddy off-the-radio sounds, homemade congregational tapes and vintage commercial gospel throw-downs; a little preachin', a little salvation, a little audio tomfoolery". Also cf. this list of artists played on the program.
Genres: Gospel
Depth: 9
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 5
Database: 5
Search Engine: 5
Writing: NA
Interface: 4
Accuracy: 6
Entertainment: 10
Regions: USA
Media: Audio
Period: 1940 - Now

Awesome Tapes From Africa TIP!
Older and newest music from all regions of Africa.
Genres: World, Pop, Gospel, Rap, Electronic
Depth: 7
Breadth: 5
File Quality: 8
Accessibility: 7
Database: 7
Search Engine: 7
Writing: NA
Interface: 6
Accuracy: 6
Entertainment: 9
Regions: Africa
Media: Audio
Period: 1970 - Now