At 02:25 PM 7/4/2003 -0400, [log in to unmask] wrote:
>This is why there needs to be a way of preserving "dead" audio; one that
>requires no maintenance and what will survive literal burial. It would be for
>material of no conceivable commercial value, but that would be of interest to
>historians trying to reconstruct the procedures and practices of the past.
>As a result of this thread I finally played some of the discs that have
>survived many years storage in a damp, occasionally flooded
>Harp solo by the daughter of a local broadcast engineer; 4/23/57: Girl Scouts
>singing Camp songs; 6/12/41: amazingly inept church choir; 10/19/53: two
>Carhardt commercials; 6/14/46: roundtable discussion of local issues;
>194?: local air
>raid Alert & All Clear; Sentinel TV commercials; interviews of 1st graders
>at an animal lending library.
I beg to differ.
Given unlimited time and funds to make the archives, categorize the
material and disseminate the results, "dead" audio should be preserved.
That is hardly a 'need' by any measure I know. The harp solo is all well
and good, but the collection of all such recordings by all such children is
not worthy. I would have no problem with one recording of each Girl Scout
song in a given era (so long as I am not required to listen to it), but
preserving the hundreds or thousands of different performances is without
Collections of such ephemera are entertaining and can be informative, but
the value of each item diminishes rapidly as the number saved increases.
The next step would be to preserve every document turned in by any student
in any school. Though a compilation of oddities is marketable and the
scribblings of a child who becomes an author have historical interest, the
hundreds of essays, tests and other papers generated annually by each of
the tens of millions of American schoolchildren (not to add those in India,
China and the rest of the world) are not worth preserving.
It may be heresy to some, but I firmly believe that there are frames of
home movies which should be scrapped, diaries which should be recycled, and
audio recordings which should be allowed to expire gracefully.
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