'DB' Series - Serial Numbers

For many years H.M.V. (and for that matter, Victor) featured a third number series on their records, in addition to the matrix and catalog number.

Pre-1934 HMV, DB label - Detail, showing the serial or 'assembly' number

This third, unique number is sometimes referred as the "assembly number" or "serial number" as it appears to have been assigned to each recorded side of a 78rpm in this series (and others such as the 'DA' series) once it had been approved for publication. This "serial number" was initially printed on the label between 1924 and 1934, (but in some, rare occasions was also pressed into the runout grooves of the shellac until abandoned), and the matrix number was pressed into the run-out groove. [1]

Once the serial numbering system was abandoned in 1934, the matrix number replaced the serial number on the label and also featured in the runout groove (with take number, usually located, but not always, in the 6 o'clock position). [See the matrix page for information on the matrix number system.

Post-1934 HMV, DB label - Detail, showing only the matrix number

For the HMV, 'DB' series, the assembly/serial number had a different hyphenated numeral prefix for each country:

  • 40 and 130 - for U.S.A.
  • 30 and 32 - for England
  • 60 - for Germany
  • 120 - for Australia
and so on....


1 For example, see DB XXXX