On Tue, 23 May 2006, Richard L. Hess wrote:
> At 02:17 PM 5/23/2006, Karl Miller wrote:
> >Then...a pianist on my label wrote the school where she got her graduate
> >degrees and asked for copies of the recitals. They sent her the master
> >tapes...no backups...it was as though they didn't care about the recorded
> >history of their school...aren't they required by law to keep
> >documentation of the degrees they grant...
> I hope she realizes what she has and had them properly transferred to digital.
Yes, I have been doing transfers for her of all of her broadcast
performances as well.
> I think there is a vast pool of recordings out there that your
> discussion excludes that are equally or more in need of preservation
> as they are unique. These generally fall outside of the copyright
> discussions we have been having, although it may not be 100% clear as
> to who owns the copyrights and whether they are even copyrighted. I
> am speaking of tapes like your piano student's and the vast archive
> or oral histories that have been made in many areas.
Yes, I have left them out as my vision is too often myopic...limited to my
I look at the unique as being most important. I wonder about spending time
scanning published books not on acidic paper. I wonder what is the logic
being used that makes that a higher priority...at least it seems that way
to me. Is it that the oral histories and much of the other "unique"
materials would hold far less interest, or is there some fundamental
rationale that I am not seeing?
> Some of these recordings document vanishing cultures, especially
> Aboriginal/Native American (and other geographic areas as well). I
> have done a small amount of that work early on in my business and
> I've consulted with a restorer in Oklahoma or nearby who is doing a
> whole tribe's tape archive.
Yet, I wonder why that music school is not interested in their
history...similarly, few major performing organizations maintain their own
collections...years ago I got the Houston Symphony to allow us to maintain
an archive of their broadcasts...it happened when about ten years of stuff
was headed to the land fill.
> The 7,000 cassettes and reels stored with nightly relative humidity
> spikes up to 75% at the Cal State Fullerton Center for Oral and
> Public History were copied to two gold CD-Rs with some help from me
> to set things up. I tried to get them interested in adding this to
> their IT infrastructure, but was told it couldn't happen.
Do you recall what their thinking was...
> While preserving commercial releases is very important as well,
> hopefully additional copies of these survive at diverse geographic
> locations. The material that worries me the most are the single copy archives.
I would agree, but to my question, if you had a donor, what would be the
best use one could make of say, a gift of $5-10M?