Hi, thanks for the helpful message. Here are some thoughts.
I am a bit skeptical of mega-projects, first because of the history of such
projects to date, secondly, since assembling just the raw audio database
will take hundreds of (hu)man-years of effort, followed by _even more_ work
on the meta-data, aka the finding aids. As just one example, the musical
recordings in the OCLC database represents the indexing work of an army of
trained music librarians toiling away for decades, and the results are a
fairly confusing mess. (See: "Musical Works on OCLC, or, What if OCLC Were
Actually to Become a Catalog?", Martha M. Yee
>Once the "ultimate discographic database(s)" has/have been created and
>populated, individual limited-interest discographies (i.e.
>certain artists. genres, labels, countries/regions, etc.) would be
>available just by defining queries and indexing data.
OK, let's say I was interested in a discography of the Child Ballads. (Are
there any by the way? Please email me separately or start a new thread.)
This is not just a matter of defining a query, it means someone has to be
committed enough, passionate enough and skilled enough to research all the
Child Ballads and their variant titles and tag any occurence of that song
with a Child Ballad identifier of some sort. Not to mention the effort
required to identify which recordings are by tradition-bearers, which are
by revivalists, etc., etc.
The same sort of difficulties obtain in classical music. If work title
information is entered willy-nilly, finding things will be a mess. To
structure a database that would allow proper categorization and editorial
control for entering all of Mozart's work (or Bach's, or Beethoven's etc.)
is another few man-years of effort.
Last, I am interested in all formats, not just 78s.
The availability of a database the likes of that proposed by Project
Gramophone would be a great boon, but would not likely change the fact that
preparing a discography of any substance will still require extensive
research, sleuthing, organization and database preparation.
I'll look forward to still more thoughts on what the next generation of
discographies might look like. Are they printed? Electronic only? And so on.
At 11:17 AM 10/21/2003 -0400, you wrote:
>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Joel Bresler" <[log in to unmask]>
> > I'd like to kick off a discussion of the content of published
> > these days. Specifically, given the ubiquity of optical storage (CD ROM at
> > the least, and increasingly, DVD ROM) and web access at every library and
> > most end-users, what could and should be included?
>Actually, this is already under extensive discussion on two e-lists created
>for the specific projects, as well as incidentally on the 78-L list:
>1) Jon Noring is trying to set up a project currently called "Project
>(name subject to change). The eventual intent is to provided sound files of
>available 78rpm sound recording in the public domain, and if possible to
>permission from copyright holders for recordings not in the public domain
>not currently reissued or likely to be in the future. This project would
>involve the creation of an equally comprehensive discographic database on
>78rpm sound recordings (the contents of this database are so far to be
>Jon can be e-mailed at Jon Noring <[log in to unmask]> and the list can be
>to at the YahooGroups.com site.
>2) Ron Fial is providing space for Tyrone Settlemeir's 78Label list. This
>involve making scanned images of the labels of all extant 78rpm records,
>the above PrGr project would also involve the creation of a discographic
>related to the label images.
>Ron can be contacted at [log in to unmask], and the list can be subscribed to at
>Note that there is some overlap between the two projects insofar as
>data would be concerned; I am in hopes the two groups are maintaining
>resolve this. Once the "ultimate discographic database(s)" has/have been
>created and populated, individual limited-interest discographies (i.e.
>artists. genres, labels, countries/regions, etc.) would be available just by
>defining queries and indexing data. I have been trying to connect
>with computer technology since 1989, when I first started using dBASE III+
>to catalog my collection and digitize discographic references, as well as
>trying to promote others to do so as well; once I saw the difference in time
>and effort between searching a dBASE file and searching 15,000 3x5 cards, I
>enthusiastic about the new technology!
>Steven C. Barr
250 E. Emerson Rd.
Lexington, MA 02420
781-862-4104 (Telephone & FAX)
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