On Mon, 15 May 2006, steven c wrote:
> So...here I am! I have 40,000 (give/take) shellac 78's, dating from 1895
> to 1960...I'm expert enough in their content to be the creator of a
> standard reference work in the field...and the necessary knowledge in
> the area of digital database technology to "keep track" of my half-vast
> accumulation (lacking only the time required for by-hand entry of the
> If I'm so furshugginer valuable...why isn't the world, or that part
> of it that dwells on the north shore of Lake Ontario, besieging my
> door with ever-increasing offers?! Then I could afford to fix the
> dommed cracks before I, my discs, Ecru (the cat) and/or all of the
> above fell through them!
While you may or may not have been serious in your post, I believe that
what you have written illustrates many of the problems all of us in the
audio archives business face.
First off, we don't know if someone else has reformatted the discs you
have...we don't know what libraries have, let alone what
individuals have...(ok, another dig at MARC, which I believe is so
encumbered it has encumbered the process of cataloging to the extent that by its
very nature it contributes to backlogs)
You also mention your lack of a library degree...I believe that while a
library degree and/or its equivalent in training and experience can
provide needed skills for a library position, those degree requirements,
and many of the openings make no demands regarding subject expertise,
namely, things like your discographic knowledge. Unfortunately, from my
perspective, library systems were designed by librarians for librarians
and require some library training to even input data.
Were the tools used by librarians, (I see MARC as but one
example) not so encumbered, perhaps more emphasis could be placed on the
discographic skills and knowledge of reformatting...and speaking from
personal experience, areas which libraries often undervalue...
As to why the world isn't beating a path to your door...there are many
reasons...it could be that they don't know what you have to offer
...they wouldn't care even if they knew...or, as it was once said
to me..."information isn't valued until it is needed."
From my perspective, if a Ron Popeil (Ronco...as in vegamatics) can
become rich by selling us stuff we can easily live without, surely a Ron Popeil can
sell those with the resources to preserve our musical heritage the notion that
old recordings are worth preserving.
I think we need a Ron Popeil.
However, it is a tough sell, since corporations own the rights to just
about everything we are trying to preserve. In a sense we are asking for
funding to do the work the owner of the information (of course it
doesn't matter that they might not care...or even know what they may
or may not own) should be doing...
For me, that kinda makes it a "Catch-22."