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  • British Library's National Audit of Sound Collections

    Of some interest to Vultures? I particularly like the idea of a recorded archive of silence.

    Dear all,

    On the 12th January, the British Library launched a new initiative titled Save our Sounds. One of the key aims of this programme is to preserve as much as possible of the nation’s rare and unique sound recordings, not just those in the Library’s collections but also key items from partner collections across the UK.

    International consensus holds that we have around 15 years in which to preserve our sound collections. By 2030, the scarcity of older equipment, the condition of recorded media and the loss of skills will make their preservation costly, difficult and, in many cases, impossible.

    These risks face all recorded sound collections, across the country, from boxes of forgotten cassette recordings to professional archives.

    To help us understand the risks faced by the UK’s recorded heritage, the Library has been running a project to map the extent of sound collections in the UK, and to create a Directory of UK Sound Collections.

    Thanks to all those who’ve replied, the response we’ve had so far has been fantastic. Over the past three months we’ve received information on c.1million items covering a wonderful range of subjects, from oral history interviews with nurses, London dockers, rugby players, booksellers and lifeboat crew, to experimental music, church bells, fairground organs, trains and silence, lost radio broadcasts and recordings of Tolkien, Ella Fitzgerald and J.B. Priestley, held on everything from wax cylinders to digital files.

    And the good news is that it’s not over yet - our project has been extended, and we now have a deadline of 31st May for responses. So, if you’ve been thinking about sending us some information on your collections, or if this is the first you’ve heard of our project, we’d love to hear from you.

    You can get in touch with us at [email protected], or find out more at our project webpage at:

    www.bl.uk/projects/uk-sound-directory

    We’ll be publishing the results of our census in June, along with some advice on understanding and looking after your collections.

    And of course, the more people know about our survey, the safer our sounds will be, so do feel free to publicise amongst your nearest and dearest.

    All the best,

    James Knight
    Research Support Officer, National Audit of UK Sound Collections
    e-Mail: [email protected]
    Telephone: 0207 412 7345
    National Audit of UK Sound Collections
    Spirit Duplicator—collectable, charming, affordable... and also socially networked on FB / Twitter / Instagram.

  • #2
    Originally posted by eine View Post
    I particularly like the idea of a recorded archive of silence.
    I could go for some of that right now.
    SPIRIT DUPLICATOR Est 2015.

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    • #3
      "International consensus holds that we have around 15 years in which to preserve our sound collections. By 2030, the scarcity of older equipment, the condition of recorded media and the loss of skills will make their preservation costly, difficult and, in many cases, impossible."

      Am I missing something? Why won't we be able to play records in 15 year's time?
      Or are they only referring to things that are on cassette, tape or digital?
      "Record collecting is no mere hobby, no innocuous leisurely diversion. It is a feverish passion bordering on dementia, driving those under the influence to irrational, compulsive, fanatical extremes."

      Night of the Living Vinyl

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ginghamkitchen View Post
        I could go for some of that right now.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by eine View Post
          I particularly like the idea of a recorded archive of silence.
          Depends on the silence, doesn´t it.

          "Contented hush after eating entire cake" is fine; "immediate aftermath of misjudged joke about girlfriend´s weight" not so much
          Vardy.....¡¡¡PELIGRO!!!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by babycart View Post
            Depends on the silence, doesn´t it.

            "Contented hush after eating entire cake" is fine; "immediate aftermath of misjudged joke about girlfriend´s weight" not so much
            One could so quickly follow the other.

            The National Archive of Awkward Silences sounds like a novel I should write.
            SPIRIT DUPLICATOR Est 2015.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ginghamkitchen View Post
              One could so quickly follow the other.

              The National Archive of Awkward Silences sounds like a novel I should write.

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              • #8
                Past midnight. Never knew such silence. The earth might be uninhabited.
                SPIRIT DUPLICATOR Est 2015.

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                • #9
                  I ve got a copy of the sounds of the american fast food restaurants of america issued by the Golding Institute but I do not live in the UK is this in any way relevant to anything?
                  All the Wolpertingers

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                  • #10
                    I don't know. You may have the missing piece of the British Library. In which case the fines could be extortionate.
                    Spirit Duplicator—collectable, charming, affordable... and also socially networked on FB / Twitter / Instagram.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by babycart View Post
                      Depends on the silence, doesn´t it.

                      "Contented hush after eating entire cake" is fine; "immediate aftermath of misjudged joke about girlfriend´s weight" not so much
                      This goes to show how useful this archive might be. I don't like cake that much, so I would probably find the first silence quite disturbing and gluttonous. I mean it totally depends on the quality of the silence. And I think I would derive a lot of pleaseure from the second silence.
                      Spirit Duplicator—collectable, charming, affordable... and also socially networked on FB / Twitter / Instagram.

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                      • #12
                        Go James Knight!

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