What do you know about this, if anything? Will any of you be attending
The Library of Congress, in an effort to preserve its collections of
recorded sound, is now evaluating a prototype device to extract sound
from phonograph records through digital imaging.
Scientist Carl Haber will discuss this project, referred to as
I.R.E.N.E. (Image, Reconstruct, Erase Noise, etc.), from 10 a.m. to
noon, Monday, June 18, in the Mumford Room on the sixth floor of the
James Madison Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C.
The lecture, titled *Capturing Recorded Sound through Imaging: The
I.R.E.N.E. Project and Future Prospects,* is free and open to the
public; tickets and reservations are not required.
Four years ago, the Preservation Directorate of the Library of
Congress initiated research collaboration with the Lawrence Berkeley
National Laboratory (LBNL) to study the application of digital imaging
to the extraction of sound from phonograph records and other grooved
media. This non-invasive approach protects delicate or damaged
historical items, and offers a direction toward large-scale digitization
of recorded sound collections.
Haber, senior scientist at LBNL, will discuss the status of the
I.R.E.N.E. project, as well as plans to develop a second device for
high-resolution, three-dimensional surface profiling of grooved media,
such as wax cylinders.
According to Dianne van der Reyden, director for Preservation at the
Library of Congress, *This project represents a successful partnership
between the Library and the scientific research community. The ability
to capture sound from otherwise unplayable broken or damaged discs, and
to do so in near real time, is remarkable. We look forward to working
with LBNL on research and development for the next iteration to capture
sound from similarly at-risk 3D audio media such as wax cylinders*
I.R.E.N.E. is a system that rapidly makes a digital image of a
disc record. It can efficiently extract sound from an image of a
fragile or damaged disc, *heal* scratches or digitally
*reassemble* a broken phonograph record. The extracted sound is
converted to standard digital files and stored for purposes of digital
access and preservation.
Recent surveys of collections nationwide, such as the Heritage
Health Index, have highlighted the acute need for large-scale
preservation efforts. Millions of historical recordings are believed to
be in need of preservation.
I.R.E.N.E. research has been supported by the Library of
Congress, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National
Archives and Records Administration, the Department of Energy, the
University of California, the Andrew P. Mellon Foundation and the John
Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation*s oldest
federal cultural institution and the largest library in the world, with
more than 134 million items in various languages, disciplines and
formats. The Library*s Preservation Directorate is the oldest and
largest library preservation facility in the nation. The Directorate*s
mission is to ensure long-term, uninterrupted access to the Library's
collections, either in original or reformatted form. The Directorate*s
Research and Testing Division is the premier preservation R&D lab in the
It focuses on solving preservation problems facing collections of all
types, whether traditional, audiovisual or digital.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory is a U.S. Department of
Energy national laboratory and is located in Berkeley, Calif. It
conducts unclassified scientific research and is managed by the
University of California. Its Web site is www.lbl.gov. The
Berkeley-Library of Congress research Web site is http://irene.lbl.gov.
Sr Image Management Specialist
Preservation & Digital Programs
University of Kentucky
M.I. King Library, rm 105
Lexington, KY 40506-0039
office (859) 257-3210; fax (859) 257-6311
[log in to unmask] ; http://kdl.kyvl.org