Steven C. Barr(x) wrote:
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Karl Miller" <[log in to unmask]>
>> I would wager that the laws of physics tell us that we can't keep up with
> it. So the question is, what do we do? What are our preservation priorities?
> Sadly, our "preservation priorities" are all too often determined in
> the past tense! The interested parties in 2050 can tell is exactly what
> we SHOULD have preserved in 2007 while archiving material from then-
> past decades...but we have no way of reliably predicting, let alone
> knowing, what that list would include!
> I have seen all too many examples where a private archive, probably
> created/accumulated by an "obsessive/compulsive" who barely escaped
> institutionalization, has become a valuable and regularly-used
> Being an obsessive/compulsive myself, I tend to lean toward the idea
> of "save it all and let our descendants discard what they don't want/
> need...!" Fortunately, the increasing size of "all" hasn't totally
> kept pace with the increasing capability of digital hardware...
> UNfortunately, there still remains a single step which seems to
> require human participation! The data HAS to be entered...
> Steven C. Barr
Coincidentally, I'm dealing with a private collection of an obsessive
compulsive, namely my father's horde of tapes amassed over close to 4 decades,
since the house has been sold. In some instances this kind of stash would be
turned over to an archive, assuming one existed insane enough to accept this
eclectic mishmash, but in this case the dumpster is in the driveway and I would
be the one to inherit the stuff anyway. Easy decisions. Tapes of music off
phonograph records, or records played on the air, and recorded on quarter track
at 1 7/8 ips on a variety of (no longer working) recorders, on crap tape..easy
one. Tapes of every talk show on CBC radio from about 1979 on: same place.
Tapes of potentially interesting material (live broadcast concerts) BUT on
quarter track at slow speed and on tape known to be in need of baking: out it
goes. Similar material recorded on cassettes purchased at K-Mart at 3/$1: bye
bye. This still leaves me with thousands of tapes of more unique material
recorded off radio and television beginning in 1959, some of which is known not
to exist anywhere else..I hit a pair of Beecham concerts broadcast from Toronto
in 1960 on the first try. Nobody, not even the CBC, has these concerts. I was
the one who taped them, by the way. And this will confound the experts who told
us what tapes were good and which ones were bad..these two concerts are on the
outer tracks of a reel of 1-mil .. acetate .. Brand Five. And they sound fine.