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ARSCLIST  June 2019

ARSCLIST June 2019

Subject:

Re: ARSCLIST Digest - 10 Jun 2019 to 11 Jun 2019 (#2019-137)

From:

Matthew Snyder <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 12 Jun 2019 10:40:13 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (1020 lines)

>
> Eli Bildirici wrote:

Perhaps we, now, here, can begin this discussion...? I should like to read
> Clark's paper, for one. I've read about past losses of this kind (Camden,
> Atlantic Records in Long Branch) and it's insane to me that something like
> this could still have happened ten years ago. And if this is such news only
> *now*?
> The Soviets learned sooner from Chernobyl.


This fire was known and discussed among archivists, including here on
ARSCList at that time, I believe, and people speculated then that the
losses had to be much greater than UMG was letting on. At least I think it
was here, I can't imagine how else I would have heard about it as I depend
on this list for insider scuttlebutt like that.

Matt Snyder

On Wed, Jun 12, 2019 at 3:04 AM ARSCLIST automatic digest system <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> There are 18 messages totaling 937 lines in this issue.
>
> Topics of the day:
>
>   1. The Day the Music Burned (14)
>   2. Dates for next ARSC conference (2)
>   3. ARSC website down temporarily
>   4. Low-Cost Workshops on Audiovisual and Digital Preservation  -- SD,
> KY, WV,
>      OK
>
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
> Date:    Tue, 11 Jun 2019 13:59:16 +0000
> From:    "Jones, Randye" <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: The Day the Music Burned
>
> Amazing article about lose of musical heritage
>
> The Day the Music Burned
>
> https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/magazine/universal-fire-master-recordings.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Tue, 11 Jun 2019 15:13:42 +0000
> From:    "Lund, Karen C" <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Dates for next ARSC conference
>
> Have dates been selected yet for the next ARSC conference in Montreal?
>
>
> Karen C. Lund
> Digital Project Coordinator
> Music Division
> Library of Congress
> 202-707-0156
> [log in to unmask]
>
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Tue, 11 Jun 2019 15:36:08 +0000
> From:    "Nelson-Strauss, Brenda" <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: Dates for next ARSC conference
>
> The next ARSC conference will be held in Montreal on May 20-23, 2020.
> Please make sure you have a valid passport!
>
>
> Brenda Nelson-Strauss
> ARSC Conference Manager
> 812-855-7530
> [log in to unmask]
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:
> [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Lund, Karen C
> Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 11:14 AM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Dates for next ARSC conference
>
> Have dates been selected yet for the next ARSC conference in Montreal?
>
>
> Karen C. Lund
> Digital Project Coordinator
> Music Division
> Library of Congress
> 202-707-0156
> [log in to unmask]
>
>
>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Tue, 11 Jun 2019 08:50:26 -0700
> From:    Stewart Gooderman <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: The Day the Music Burned
>
> Thank you for bringing up this article. I haven’t read the entire report
> yet, but skimming it brought back the memory of Victor bulldozing all their
> 78 RPM metal mothers in Camden with collectors running around trying to
> save the most important performances in a 40+ year recording history.
>
> Sigh.
>
> DrG
>
>
> > On Jun 11, 2019, at 6:59 AM, Jones, Randye <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >
> > Amazing article about lose of musical heritage
> >
> > The Day the Music Burned
> >
> https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/magazine/universal-fire-master-recordings.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Tue, 11 Jun 2019 08:53:02 -0700
> From:    David Katznelson <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: The Day the Music Burned
>
> Is there an article about the Victor bulldozing?
>
>
> On Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 8:50 AM Stewart Gooderman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > Thank you for bringing up this article. I haven’t read the entire report
> > yet, but skimming it brought back the memory of Victor bulldozing all
> their
> > 78 RPM metal mothers in Camden with collectors running around trying to
> > save the most important performances in a 40+ year recording history.
> >
> > Sigh.
> >
> > DrG
> >
> >
> > > On Jun 11, 2019, at 6:59 AM, Jones, Randye <[log in to unmask]>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > Amazing article about lose of musical heritage
> > >
> > > The Day the Music Burned
> > >
> >
> https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/magazine/universal-fire-master-recordings.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article
> >
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Tue, 11 Jun 2019 09:27:49 -0700
> From:    Stewart Gooderman <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: The Day the Music Burned
>
> The most spectacular case of wholesale vault trashing is the decision by
> RCA in the early '60s to demolish its warehouse in Camden, N.J. The
> warehouse, according to collectors and industry veterans, held four floors
> of catalogue product, pre-tape-era material ranging from metal parts,
> acetates, shellac disc masters and alternate takes to test pressings,
> master matrix books and session rehearsal recordings.
>
> Several days before the demolition, officials from French RCA gained
> permission to go through the building and withdraw whatever material they
> could carry for their vinyl "Black and White" jazz reissue series. A few
> American collectors were also allowed in the building to salvage any items
> they could carry out.
>
> A few days later. as dozens of RCA officials and collectors stood on a
> nearby Delaware Bridge, demolition experts ignited the dynamite charges.
> Eyewitnesses said they saw "clouds of debris, black and metal chunks flying
> out the windows" of the collapsing building.
>
> The building wreckage was then bulldozed into the Delaware River. A pier
> was built on top of the detritus.
>
> "Was it a case of literally dynamiting away our cultural heritage, or was
> it nobody's business but a private property of a company that had made a
> business decision that made sense to them at the time?" asked a young
> archivist, one of several who have confirmed the story with older
> collectors who were present at the demolition. "The problem is, it was
> both. There's always that tug.”
>
>
> http://www.billholland.net/words/Labels%20Strive%20to%20Rectify%20Past%20Archival%20Problems.pdf
>
> DrG
>
>
> > On Jun 11, 2019, at 8:53 AM, David Katznelson <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >
> > Is there an article about the Victor bulldozing?
> >
> >
> > On Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 8:50 AM Stewart Gooderman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> >> Thank you for bringing up this article. I haven’t read the entire report
> >> yet, but skimming it brought back the memory of Victor bulldozing all
> their
> >> 78 RPM metal mothers in Camden with collectors running around trying to
> >> save the most important performances in a 40+ year recording history.
> >>
> >> Sigh.
> >>
> >> DrG
> >>
> >>
> >>> On Jun 11, 2019, at 6:59 AM, Jones, Randye <[log in to unmask]>
> >> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> Amazing article about lose of musical heritage
> >>>
> >>> The Day the Music Burned
> >>>
> >>
> https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/magazine/universal-fire-master-recordings.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article
> >>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Tue, 11 Jun 2019 16:53:39 +0000
> From:    Nathan Georgitis <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: ARSC website down temporarily
>
> Hello all,
>
> The ARSC website is down but will be restored by tomorrow.
>
> Apologies for any inconvenience.
>
> Thank you,
> Nathan
>
> Nathan Georgitis
> Executive Director
> Association for Recorded Sound Collections
> 1299 University of Oregon
> Eugene, OR  97403-1299
> [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
> [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Tue, 11 Jun 2019 12:54:12 -0400
> From:    Gerald seligman <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: The Day the Music Burned
>
> There is one correction to be made in my first quote. What I tried to
> convey was that low figure to represent the percentage of audio recordings
> overall that were digitized. More of commercial music was/is digitized. The
> writer had me saying that the percentage applied to commercial music, which
> it does not. I don’t have information on that.
>
> Gerald Seligman
>
> Cellphone: 347-504-5311
>
>
>
>
>
>
> > On Jun 11, 2019, at 9:59 AM, Jones, Randye <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >
> > Amazing article about lose of musical heritage
> >
> > The Day the Music Burned
> >
> https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/magazine/universal-fire-master-recordings.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Tue, 11 Jun 2019 18:24:49 +0100
> From:    Mint Records <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: The Day the Music Burned
>
>  After the fire they did a worldwide search for copy masters, which whilst
> 2nd gen, we better than nothing. I was asked if i could join the team
> (based in Slough, UK) digitizing everything they found. Unfortunately I
> wasn't available at the time. So they will have been able to get copies of
> a percentage of material lost, but who knows how much and certainly none of
> the unissued stuff.
>
> Richard
>
> On Tue, 11 Jun 2019 at 17:54, Gerald seligman <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> > There is one correction to be made in my first quote. What I tried to
> > convey was that low figure to represent the percentage of audio
> recordings
> > overall that were digitized. More of commercial music was/is digitized.
> The
> > writer had me saying that the percentage applied to commercial music,
> which
> > it does not. I don’t have information on that.
> >
> > Gerald Seligman
> >
> > Cellphone: 347-504-5311
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > > On Jun 11, 2019, at 9:59 AM, Jones, Randye <[log in to unmask]>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > Amazing article about lose of musical heritage
> > >
> > > The Day the Music Burned
> > >
> >
> https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/magazine/universal-fire-master-recordings.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article
> >
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Tue, 11 Jun 2019 14:39:55 -0400
> From:    Railroads On Parade <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: The Day the Music Burned
>
> Paramount Records.  See Amanda Petrusich's book.
>
> On Tue, 11 Jun 2019 at 12:28, Stewart Gooderman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > The most spectacular case of wholesale vault trashing is the decision by
> > RCA in the early '60s to demolish its warehouse in Camden, N.J. The
> > warehouse, according to collectors and industry veterans, held four
> floors
> > of catalogue product, pre-tape-era material ranging from metal parts,
> > acetates, shellac disc masters and alternate takes to test pressings,
> > master matrix books and session rehearsal recordings.
> >
> > Several days before the demolition, officials from French RCA gained
> > permission to go through the building and withdraw whatever material they
> > could carry for their vinyl "Black and White" jazz reissue series. A few
> > American collectors were also allowed in the building to salvage any
> items
> > they could carry out.
> >
> > A few days later. as dozens of RCA officials and collectors stood on a
> > nearby Delaware Bridge, demolition experts ignited the dynamite charges.
> > Eyewitnesses said they saw "clouds of debris, black and metal chunks
> flying
> > out the windows" of the collapsing building.
> >
> > The building wreckage was then bulldozed into the Delaware River. A pier
> > was built on top of the detritus.
> >
> > "Was it a case of literally dynamiting away our cultural heritage, or was
> > it nobody's business but a private property of a company that had made a
> > business decision that made sense to them at the time?" asked a young
> > archivist, one of several who have confirmed the story with older
> > collectors who were present at the demolition. "The problem is, it was
> > both. There's always that tug.”
> >
> >
> >
> http://www.billholland.net/words/Labels%20Strive%20to%20Rectify%20Past%20Archival%20Problems.pdf
> >
> > DrG
> >
> >
> > > On Jun 11, 2019, at 8:53 AM, David Katznelson <[log in to unmask]>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > Is there an article about the Victor bulldozing?
> > >
> > >
> > > On Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 8:50 AM Stewart Gooderman <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> > >
> > >> Thank you for bringing up this article. I haven’t read the entire
> report
> > >> yet, but skimming it brought back the memory of Victor bulldozing all
> > their
> > >> 78 RPM metal mothers in Camden with collectors running around trying
> to
> > >> save the most important performances in a 40+ year recording history.
> > >>
> > >> Sigh.
> > >>
> > >> DrG
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>> On Jun 11, 2019, at 6:59 AM, Jones, Randye <[log in to unmask]>
> > >> wrote:
> > >>>
> > >>> Amazing article about lose of musical heritage
> > >>>
> > >>> The Day the Music Burned
> > >>>
> > >>
> >
> https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/magazine/universal-fire-master-recordings.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article
> > >>
> >
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Tue, 11 Jun 2019 14:44:47 -0400
> From:    Clark Johnsen <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: The Day the Music Burned
>
> An excellent article, better than one might have expected upon learning of
> the title. One caveat however — the writer, like most people, blithely
> assumes that “digitization” is a be-all and end-all. In fact there are in
> the numeric process as many forms and levels and sonic qualities as with
> analog. Plus the possibility of a “digital fire” must not be dismissed.
>
> I should now draw your attention to a paper I presented to the 1986 ARSC
> conference in San Francisco, outlining all such considerations about the
> masters being dispersed around the globe (who knows where?) either in
> private hands or held in central facilities with little or no regulation or
> oversight. At the same time I advanced a proposal to create a taxonomy of
> extant masters but failed to vigorously pursue the matter. I did however
> submit the summary proposal to several important foundations and
> individuals, but received no response. So there, mea culpa, I let it rest.
>
>
>
> On Tuesday, June 11, 2019, Jones, Randye <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > Amazing article about lose of musical heritage
> >
> > The Day the Music Burned
> > https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/magazine/universal-fire-
> > master-recordings.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article
> >
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Tue, 11 Jun 2019 19:23:51 +0000
> From:    Julie Martin <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Low-Cost Workshops on Audiovisual and Digital Preservation  --
> SD, KY, WV, OK
>
> REMINDER -  Deadlines are approaching -  Take Advantage of these Great
> Low-Cost Workshops
> *************************************************************************
> ONE-DAY WORKSHOPS FOR SMALLER INSTITUTIONS - Presented by NEDCC
>
> WORKSHOPS:
> --- Audiovisual Preservation for Smaller Institutions
> --- Digital Preservation for Smaller Institutions
>
> ABOUT THE WORKSHOPS:  Funded by a grant from NEH, these two workshops held
> on consecutive days provide the foundation needed for participants to
> become effective collection stewards for these unique collections.  You may
> attend one or both workshops. A limited number of scholarships are
> available for registration fee and travel costs.
>
> LOCATIONS AND DATES:
> South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD - July 8 and 9  -
> University of Louisville, Louisville, KY - July 15 and 16  -
> Marshall University, Huntington, WV - July 18 and 19  -
> Oklahoma Historical Society, Oklahoma City, OK - Aug 22 and 23  -
>
> WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
> Representatives from smaller libraries, archives, museums, or other
> cultural  heritage institutions who have less than $500/year to devote to
> preservation are welcome to attend.
>
> FOR COMPLETE DETAILS AND TO REGISTER:  NEDCC Preservation Training:
> www.nedcc.org/prestr
>
> QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PROGRAM?
> Contact:  Becky Geller, NEDCC Preservation Specialist, [log in to unmask]
>
>
> ***************************************
> NEDCC | Northeast Document Conservation Center  -- www.nedcc.org
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Tue, 11 Jun 2019 15:51:18 -0400
> From:    Eli Bildirici <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: The Day the Music Burned
>
> I was about to ask what the policy ramifications of a disaster of this
> kind should be. It seems to me that the megalocorps are poor stewards.
>
> -------- Original Message --------
> From: Clark Johnsen <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 02:44 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] The Day the Music Burned
>
> >An excellent article, better than one might have expected upon learning of
> >the title. One caveat however — the writer, like most people, blithely
> >assumes that “digitization” is a be-all and end-all. In fact there are in
> >the numeric process as many forms and levels and sonic qualities as with
> >analog. Plus the possibility of a “digital fire” must not be dismissed.
> >
> >I should now draw your attention to a paper I presented to the 1986 ARSC
> >conference in San Francisco, outlining all such considerations about the
> >masters being dispersed around the globe (who knows where?) either in
> >private hands or held in central facilities with little or no regulation
> or
> >oversight. At the same time I advanced a proposal to create a taxonomy of
> >extant masters but failed to vigorously pursue the matter. I did however
> >submit the summary proposal to several important foundations and
> >individuals, but received no response. So there, mea culpa, I let it rest.
> >
> >
> >
> >On Tuesday, June 11, 2019, Jones, Randye <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> >> Amazing article about lose of musical heritage
> >>
> >> The Day the Music Burned
> >> https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/magazine/universal-fire-
> >> master-recordings.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article
> >>
> >
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Tue, 11 Jun 2019 15:51:18 -0400
> From:    Eli Bildirici <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: The Day the Music Burned
>
> I was about to ask what the policy ramifications of a disaster of this
> kind should be. It seems to me that the megalocorps are poor stewards.
>
> -------- Original Message --------
> From: Clark Johnsen <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 02:44 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] The Day the Music Burned
>
> >An excellent article, better than one might have expected upon learning of
> >the title. One caveat however — the writer, like most people, blithely
> >assumes that “digitization” is a be-all and end-all. In fact there are in
> >the numeric process as many forms and levels and sonic qualities as with
> >analog. Plus the possibility of a “digital fire” must not be dismissed.
> >
> >I should now draw your attention to a paper I presented to the 1986 ARSC
> >conference in San Francisco, outlining all such considerations about the
> >masters being dispersed around the globe (who knows where?) either in
> >private hands or held in central facilities with little or no regulation
> or
> >oversight. At the same time I advanced a proposal to create a taxonomy of
> >extant masters but failed to vigorously pursue the matter. I did however
> >submit the summary proposal to several important foundations and
> >individuals, but received no response. So there, mea culpa, I let it rest.
> >
> >
> >
> >On Tuesday, June 11, 2019, Jones, Randye <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> >> Amazing article about lose of musical heritage
> >>
> >> The Day the Music Burned
> >> https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/magazine/universal-fire-
> >> master-recordings.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article
> >>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Tue, 11 Jun 2019 19:11:41 -0400
> From:    Alex McGehee <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: The Day the Music Burned
>
> To those who have not done so yet, Jody Rosen’s article in today’s NYT
> Magazine is a long but most worthwhile read. I realize there are a wide
> variety of views within our organization on political, business, economic
> systems, etc. It would be unfortunate to get lost within those now heavily
> traveled byways.
>
> Suffice it to say, NBCUniversal’s neglect and subsequent loss was to all
> of us, incalculable. The systematic aggregation of a vast legacy of
> recorded sound by three incredibly large and powerful private
> corporations—whose priorities are clearly not in the area of recorded sound
> preservation—the substantial, intentional disinformation campaign that
> continues to the present day by these same entities; all work toward both a
> witting and unwitting destruction of so many creations of truly great art
> that properly belong to all of humanity—past, present and future.
>
> That a way out of this mire is nowhere near at hand must certainly now be
> a clear understanding of our collaborative organization (ARSC), and despite
> our relatively small numbers, we should be bold, clear and assertive in
> communicating dynamic solutions to this recorded legacy crisis. Rather than
> losing ourselves in regrets over the past (i.e. Camden, New Jersey; this
> 2008 NBCUniversal fire) or all the other sidelines we can, and do get
> distracted by, why does ARSC even exist it (we) cannot effectively rise to
> this challenge?
>
> Please excuse me for asking what some may see as an unwelcome question,
> but where is the leadership of ARSC in even beginning to meet this
> challenge?
>
> Sincerely,
> Alex McGehee
>
> > On Jun 11, 2019, at 3:51 PM, Eli Bildirici <
> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> > I was about to ask what the policy ramifications of a disaster of this
> kind should be. It seems to me that the megalocorps are poor stewards.
> >
> > -------- Original Message --------
> > From: Clark Johnsen <[log in to unmask]>
> > Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 02:44 PM
> > To: [log in to unmask]
> > Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] The Day the Music Burned
> >
> >> An excellent article, better than one might have expected upon learning
> of
> >> the title. One caveat however — the writer, like most people, blithely
> >> assumes that “digitization” is a be-all and end-all. In fact there are
> in
> >> the numeric process as many forms and levels and sonic qualities as with
> >> analog. Plus the possibility of a “digital fire” must not be dismissed.
> >>
> >> I should now draw your attention to a paper I presented to the 1986 ARSC
> >> conference in San Francisco, outlining all such considerations about the
> >> masters being dispersed around the globe (who knows where?) either in
> >> private hands or held in central facilities with little or no
> regulation or
> >> oversight. At the same time I advanced a proposal to create a taxonomy
> of
> >> extant masters but failed to vigorously pursue the matter. I did however
> >> submit the summary proposal to several important foundations and
> >> individuals, but received no response. So there, mea culpa, I let it
> rest.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> On Tuesday, June 11, 2019, Jones, Randye <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >>
> >>> Amazing article about lose of musical heritage
> >>>
> >>> The Day the Music Burned
> >>> https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/magazine/universal-fire-
> >>> master-recordings.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article
> >>>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Tue, 11 Jun 2019 19:36:48 -0400
> From:    Eli Bildirici <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: The Day the Music Burned
>
> Perhaps we, now, here, can begin this discussion...? I should like to read
> Clark's paper, for one. I've read about past losses of this kind (Camden,
> Atlantic Records in Long Branch) and it's insane to me that something like
> this could still have happened ten years ago. And if this is such news only
> *now*?
> The Soviets learned sooner from Chernobyl.
>
> -------- Original Message --------
> From: Alex McGehee <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 07:11 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] The Day the Music Burned
>
> >To those who have not done so yet, Jody Rosen’s article in today’s NYT
> Magazine is a long but most worthwhile read. I realize there are a wide
> variety of views within our organization on political, business, economic
> systems, etc. It would be unfortunate to get lost within those now heavily
> traveled byways.
> >
> >Suffice it to say, NBCUniversal’s neglect and subsequent loss was to all
> of us, incalculable. The systematic aggregation of a vast legacy of
> recorded sound by three incredibly large and powerful private
> corporations—whose priorities are clearly not in the area of recorded sound
> preservation—the substantial, intentional disinformation campaign that
> continues to the present day by these same entities; all work toward both a
> witting and unwitting destruction of so many creations of truly great art
> that properly belong to all of humanity—past, present and future.
> >
> >That a way out of this mire is nowhere near at hand must certainly now be
> a clear understanding of our collaborative organization (ARSC), and despite
> our relatively small numbers, we should be bold, clear and assertive in
> communicating dynamic solutions to this recorded legacy crisis. Rather than
> losing ourselves in regrets over the past (i.e. Camden, New Jersey; this
> 2008 NBCUniversal fire) or all the other sidelines we can, and do get
> distracted by, why does ARSC even exist it (we) cannot effectively rise to
> this challenge?
> >
> >Please excuse me for asking what some may see as an unwelcome question,
> but where is the leadership of ARSC in even beginning to meet this
> challenge?
> >
> >Sincerely,
> >Alex McGehee
> >
> >> On Jun 11, 2019, at 3:51 PM, Eli Bildirici <
> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >>
> >> I was about to ask what the policy ramifications of a disaster of this
> kind should be. It seems to me that the megalocorps are poor stewards.
> >>
> >> -------- Original Message --------
> >> From: Clark Johnsen <[log in to unmask]>
> >> Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 02:44 PM
> >> To: [log in to unmask]
> >> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] The Day the Music Burned
> >>
> >>> An excellent article, better than one might have expected upon
> learning of
> >>> the title. One caveat however — the writer, like most people, blithely
> >>> assumes that “digitization” is a be-all and end-all. In fact there are
> in
> >>> the numeric process as many forms and levels and sonic qualities as
> with
> >>> analog. Plus the possibility of a “digital fire” must not be dismissed.
> >>>
> >>> I should now draw your attention to a paper I presented to the 1986
> ARSC
> >>> conference in San Francisco, outlining all such considerations about
> the
> >>> masters being dispersed around the globe (who knows where?) either in
> >>> private hands or held in central facilities with little or no
> regulation or
> >>> oversight. At the same time I advanced a proposal to create a taxonomy
> of
> >>> extant masters but failed to vigorously pursue the matter. I did
> however
> >>> submit the summary proposal to several important foundations and
> >>> individuals, but received no response. So there, mea culpa, I let it
> rest.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> On Tuesday, June 11, 2019, Jones, Randye <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> Amazing article about lose of musical heritage
> >>>>
> >>>> The Day the Music Burned
> >>>> https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/magazine/universal-fire-
> >>>> master-recordings.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article
> >>>>
>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Wed, 12 Jun 2019 00:53:56 +0100
> From:    James Perrett <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: The Day the Music Burned
>
> I probably work with more recent material than many people here but, in my
> experience, it is the record collectors who are pushing record labels to
> revisit their more obscure recordings. In my recent experience of
> transferring major label recordings, the labelling shows that well known
> material has already been digitally transferred at high resolution and
> hopefully a reasonable proportion of the material lost would have been
> transferred before the fire. The problem lies with multitrack recordings,
> alternate takes and alternate mixes that were kept but never intended to be
> released. The tapes of alternate mixes that I've been transferring recently
> show no signs of having been touched since they were put into storage 30
> years ago so I would guess that many similar recordings were lost in this
> fire.
>
> There is now sufficient interest in these to make their release worthwhile
> if they still exist and there are independent labels who are licensing the
> material from the majors to make this happen. No-one is making a fortune
> from this as sales are unlikely to top the charts but there's a steady flow
> of work and all the additional copies of these recordings help to ensure
> that the work will live for longer.
>
> James.
>
> On Wed, 12 Jun 2019 at 00:13, Alex McGehee <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> > To those who have not done so yet, Jody Rosen’s article in today’s NYT
> > Magazine is a long but most worthwhile read. I realize there are a wide
> > variety of views within our organization on political, business, economic
> > systems, etc. It would be unfortunate to get lost within those now
> heavily
> > traveled byways.
> >
> > Suffice it to say, NBCUniversal’s neglect and subsequent loss was to all
> > of us, incalculable. The systematic aggregation of a vast legacy of
> > recorded sound by three incredibly large and powerful private
> > corporations—whose priorities are clearly not in the area of recorded
> sound
> > preservation—the substantial, intentional disinformation campaign that
> > continues to the present day by these same entities; all work toward
> both a
> > witting and unwitting destruction of so many creations of truly great art
> > that properly belong to all of humanity—past, present and future.
> >
> > That a way out of this mire is nowhere near at hand must certainly now be
> > a clear understanding of our collaborative organization (ARSC), and
> despite
> > our relatively small numbers, we should be bold, clear and assertive in
> > communicating dynamic solutions to this recorded legacy crisis. Rather
> than
> > losing ourselves in regrets over the past (i.e. Camden, New Jersey; this
> > 2008 NBCUniversal fire) or all the other sidelines we can, and do get
> > distracted by, why does ARSC even exist it (we) cannot effectively rise
> to
> > this challenge?
> >
> > Please excuse me for asking what some may see as an unwelcome question,
> > but where is the leadership of ARSC in even beginning to meet this
> > challenge?
> >
> > Sincerely,
> > Alex McGehee
> >
> > > On Jun 11, 2019, at 3:51 PM, Eli Bildirici <
> > [log in to unmask]> wrote:
> > >
> > > I was about to ask what the policy ramifications of a disaster of this
> > kind should be. It seems to me that the megalocorps are poor stewards.
> > >
> > > -------- Original Message --------
> > > From: Clark Johnsen <[log in to unmask]>
> > > Sent: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 02:44 PM
> > > To: [log in to unmask]
> > > Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] The Day the Music Burned
> > >
> > >> An excellent article, better than one might have expected upon
> learning
> > of
> > >> the title. One caveat however — the writer, like most people, blithely
> > >> assumes that “digitization” is a be-all and end-all. In fact there are
> > in
> > >> the numeric process as many forms and levels and sonic qualities as
> with
> > >> analog. Plus the possibility of a “digital fire” must not be
> dismissed.
> > >>
> > >> I should now draw your attention to a paper I presented to the 1986
> ARSC
> > >> conference in San Francisco, outlining all such considerations about
> the
> > >> masters being dispersed around the globe (who knows where?) either in
> > >> private hands or held in central facilities with little or no
> > regulation or
> > >> oversight. At the same time I advanced a proposal to create a taxonomy
> > of
> > >> extant masters but failed to vigorously pursue the matter. I did
> however
> > >> submit the summary proposal to several important foundations and
> > >> individuals, but received no response. So there, mea culpa, I let it
> > rest.
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >> On Tuesday, June 11, 2019, Jones, Randye <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> > >>
> > >>> Amazing article about lose of musical heritage
> > >>>
> > >>> The Day the Music Burned
> > >>> https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/magazine/universal-fire-
> > >>>
> master-recordings.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article
> > >>>
> >
>
>
> --
> **********************************************************************
> *       James Perrett
> *       JRP Music Services, Alresford, Hampshire, U.K.
> *       Audio Mastering, Restoration, Recording and Consultancy
> *       Phone +44 (0) 777 600 6107
> * e-mail [log in to unmask]
> * http://www.jrpmusic.net
> **********************************************************************
>
> ------------------------------
>
> Date:    Tue, 11 Jun 2019 19:30:19 -0700
> From:    Michael Biel <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Re: The Day the Music Burned
>
>
> Although the Camden warehouse destruction was unfortunate, I think the
> description of the contents destroyed is quite erroneous.  The matrix
> books exist, as does an amazing variety of other ledger files, card
> files, inventories, and other paperwork.  With the exception of
> acoustical popular and ethnic masters, there is an amazingly complete
> matrix file of masters, especially the type of material that would be in
> the Black and White reissue series. Now that the holdings are
> computerized, I bet you could take copies of those LPs and look up the
> availability of masters and find almost every one.  You wouldn't expect
> to find almosry sued AND unissued Gosden and Correll master from
> 1925-1932 there, but they all exist.
>
> One category of materials that were destroyed were things that were not
> RCA commercial property, recordings they did not have the exploitation
> rights to.  Specifically, motion picture soundtracks, filmstrip
> recordings, and broadcast transcriptions.  Ruth Terry Preston, the NBC
> Archivist, was invited down to take anything of theirs she wanted.
> These mainly included the syndicated NBC Recorded Program Service, and
> NBC Thesaurus.  She took a sample of every one of the programs in the
> syndicated service but not Thesaurus, which actually had been offloaded
> to RCA in the mid-1950s.
>
> Miss Preston had horror stories of her own to tell, of the downsizing of
> the NBC collection around 1967, such as 90% of the television kinescope
> films -- although a large proportion of them were multiple prints of the
> same programs (they used to make as many as 13 prints in the early 50s)
> -- and most of the daylight saving time delay discs, and gameshow
> soundtrack safety discs.
>
> But I don't think they RCA warehouse story is as bad as you made it out
> to be.
>
> Michael Biel  [log in to unmask]  (and Facebook)
>
>
> -------- Original Message --------
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] The Day the Music B
> From: Stewart Gooderman <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Tue, June 11, 2019 12:27 pm
> To: [log in to unmask]
>
> The most spectacular case of wholesale vault trashing is the decision by
> RCA in the early '60s to demolish its warehouse in Camden, N.J. The
> warehouse, according to collectors and industry veterans, held four
> floors of catalogue product, pre-tape-era material ranging from metal
> parts, acetates, shellac disc masters and alternate takes to test
> pressings, master matrix books and session rehearsal recordings.
>
> Several days before the demolition, officials from French RCA gained
> permission to go through the building and withdraw whatever material
> they could carry for their vinyl "Black and White" jazz reissue series.
> A few American collectors were also allowed in the building to salvage
> any items they could carry out.
>
> A few days later. as dozens of RCA officials and collectors stood on a
> nearby Delaware Bridge, demolition experts ignited the dynamite charges.
> Eyewitnesses said they saw "clouds of debris, black and metal chunks
> flying out the windows" of the collapsing building.
>
> The building wreckage was then bulldozed into the Delaware River. A pier
> was built on top of the detritus.
>
> "Was it a case of literally dynamiting away our cultural heritage, or
> was it nobody's business but a private property of a company that had
> made a business decision that made sense to them at the time?" asked a
> young archivist, one of several who have confirmed the story with older
> collectors who were present at the demolition. "The problem is, it was
> both. There's always that tug.”
>
>
> http://www.billholland.net/words/Labels%20Strive%20to%20Rectify%20Past%20Archival%20Problems.pdf
>
> DrG
>
>
> > On Jun 11, 2019, at 8:53 AM, David Katznelson <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
> >
> > Is there an article about the Victor bulldozing?
> >
> >
> > On Tue, Jun 11, 2019 at 8:50 AM Stewart Gooderman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> >> Thank you for bringing up this article. I haven’t read the entire report
> >> yet, but skimming it brought back the memory of Victor bulldozing all
> their
> >> 78 RPM metal mothers in Camden with collectors running around trying to
> >> save the most important performances in a 40+ year recording history.
> >>
> >> Sigh.
> >>
> >> DrG
> >>
> >>
> >>> On Jun 11, 2019, at 6:59 AM, Jones, Randye <[log in to unmask]>
> >> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> Amazing article about lose of musical heritage
> >>>
> >>> The Day the Music Burned
> >>>
> >>
> https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/magazine/universal-fire-master-recordings.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article
> >>
>
> ------------------------------
>
> End of ARSCLIST Digest - 10 Jun 2019 to 11 Jun 2019 (#2019-137)
> ***************************************************************
>


-- 

Matt Snyder | The New York Public Library

Archivist


Special Collections

Library Services Center

31-11 Thomson Avenue, Rm. 202, Long Island City, NY 11101

T: 917.229.9582 | matthewsnyder <http://goog_214053846>@nypl.org
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