The National Recording Preservation Act, among many other provisions,
calls for preparation of a study on the "state of sound recording
archiving, preservation and restoration activities." That study is to
be followed up by a national plan to address issues and needs raised in
I've been detailed from the Congressional Research Service here at
the Library of Congress to prepare the study and subsequent plan. (A
number of supporting reports have been completed and available on the
Council on Library and Information Resources website:
http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/reports.html. Other reports are
Some of the issues to be addressed in the study include:
I. Archives:  the size and nature of their holdings, with
respect to both published and unpublished recordings;  the nature and
extent of preservation capacities and activities, any criteria by which
priorities are set for preservation, and financial support for
preservation activity;  the format and specifications that have been
adopted for preservation activities;  reader/researcher access to
preserved material; and  copyright/intellectual property issues that
may limit or interfere with access.
II. Sound engineers and technicians:  perceived needs for
standards or "best practices" to facilitate sharing of preserved
material, how such standards/practices should be determined, and how
often they should be subject to review and by whom; and  the
challenges and practicality, in the face of limited resources, of
automating preservation activity.
The study will be one of the items on the agenda at the Friday evening
Archives Update Session (8:00-9:30 P.M.) at the ARSC conference.
However, I'd welcome your thoughts at anytime (well, almost anytime)
over the course of the conference. There have been a number of relevant
and useful threads on the list, and there are certain to be more. It's
all grist for the mill.
Additionally, the Library plans to create a formal opportunity or two
for specialists and members of the general public to weigh in on matters
included in the study.
Looking forward to seeing some of you again when in Seattle, and
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