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ARSCLIST  May 2006

ARSCLIST May 2006

Subject:

Re: National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB) Study

From:

steven c <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 15 May 2006 18:52:23 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (83 lines)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Karl Miller" <[log in to unmask]>
> 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
> > data...?!).
> > 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!
> > FEH!!
> 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."
>
Well, the point is I'm NOT trying to sell the contents of my
half-vast shellac archive (which will be impossible once the
record industry standardizes the quasi-eternal term of sound
recording copyrights anyway!).

What I'm trying to sell is (are?) my skills and abilities in
maintaining such an archive...which runs into the present-day
challenge of "You say you know this? Okeh, show me a valid
and properly endorsed graduate-school-level DEGREE proving
you're not just another member of the peasant scum! With
circles and arrows, too!!"

At the rate the record industry is taking control of what
music is available to the public (it's them vs. all the
young downloaders, and neither side could give a fiddler's
<euphonius expletive deleted> about the American Quartette's
1913 recording of "On the 5:15") I'm not even sure it will
continue to be legal to even LISTEN to my 78's, since in
most cases the original purchasers have long since departed
this space-time continuum to meet Jesus/Allah/The Great
Spirit/Their Karma/Their Dogma (which was run over by
their karma?!)/The Holy Hooflungdung of Hoo-Hah/(add
your own appelation of your own spiritual CMFIC)...
which means I should have turned them in to the
manufactory of same upon acquisition!

Sorry for the rant...there are many good reasons for it...!?

Steven C. Barr

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