I have been working with the chairs of ARSC's Technical Committee and
AAA (Associated Audio Archivists) to determine the best ways for ARSC to
provide assistance to institutions and private individuals with
important audio collections damaged by hurricane Katrina. Many
organizations including the Association for Moving Image Archivists, the
Society for American Archivists, the Regional Alliance for Preservation,
and various museum and cultural groups have formed alliances to offer
technical assistance. Since none of these groups deal specifically with
sound recordings, we are proposing that ARSC take the following steps:
1. Create a "disaster recovery and assistance" page on the ARSC website
and place a prominent link to this new page from the ARSC home page.
2. Include the six vendors in ARSC's Audio Preservation and Restoration
Directory (http://www.arsc-audio.org/Directory2005-07-25.pdf ) that
offer disaster recovery services. Other highly-qualified experts may
also be included.
3. Include a contact list of ARSC members who are willing to talk to
institutions and individuals with damaged collections and share their
knowledge of/experience with particular vendors and the basic issues
involved in restoring damaged audio materials; those who might have pro
bono supplies or services to offer can also be included.
4. Compile format specific guidelines for handling audio materials
damaged by water, removing fungus, decontamination, etc. This might
include a list of Do's and Don'ts to assist people in making quick
decisions, and/or links to sites that offer this information.
5. Compile a bibliography and include links to other sites with
disaster recovery and disaster preparedness information (preferably
those that specifically mention of sound recordings and/or magnetic
5. Publicize the disaster recovery page on various lists, with a news
release and other information that reaches the storm areas, etc.
We are looking for volunteers to assist with this project, particularly
those with disaster recovery experience. Peter Brothers (from Specs
Brothers) has already offered a set of guidelines for dealing with water
damaged magnetic tapes, but other format specific guidelines are needed.
Chuck Haddix has begun work on the bibliography, but would welcome
assistance. Anyone willing to contribute to this project in some way
should contact me offlist at [log in to unmask] Immediate action is
required if we are to have the pages mounted in time to assist people
with preservation decisions.