Not that long ago, orchestra archives were accessible only to scholars and researchers, the specialists who were granted permission to delve among historic treasures. Now, via digital technology, more and more orchestras and musical organizations are opening their archives to anyone, anywhere. It takes a lot of scanning and sleuthing and software, but the results bring an orchestra’s past vividly to life for fans, musicians, journalists, music-lovers, administrators, and others. The New York Philharmonic’s Leon Levy Digital Archives document every concert the orchestra has given—tens of thousands since 1842—and behind-the-scenes artistic and administrative work. Two other orchestras recently announced digital archives. This spring, the Pittsburgh Symphony launched an online archive of materials from its 120-year history at with functions that not only track down specific information but reward random browsing. The Cleveland Orchestra will unveil an online archive during its 100th-­anniversary season in 2017-18. You never know what an orchestra might have on file: last fall, Erie Philharmonic Executive Director Steve Weiser spotted an intriguing item in the orchestra’s (non-digitized) archives. In 1950, the U.S. State Department singled out the Pennsylvania-based orchestra as a “model of musical culture in America” for a recording used in Voice of America broadcasts and its expansive youth concerts.