The Library of Congress has done a wonderful thing .

It has put an edition (the 1919 one) of The Victrola Book of the Opera online. For those of us who've come across this, looking at the photos from the period, the florid prose, the taste of another era, and the listings of all the records you can buy (4-minute excerpts, of course) by both famous and forgotten artists, is fun enough.

But the wonderful part is that for many of the selections, they provide a button that allows you to hear them (with full discographic data provided, if you're interested) immediately. The second one in the book is one of the greats, Titta Ruffo's "All'erta Marinar!" from L'Africaine, but there are hundreds more. Including, yes, lots of Caruso and Destinn and Farrar and all the people Barbara wrote about. Enjoy!