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ARSCLIST  June 2009

ARSCLIST June 2009

Subject:

Re: Best practice: mixed acetate and polyester reels with sticky shed

From:

George Brock-Nannestad <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Fri, 12 Jun 2009 12:24:47 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (235 lines)

From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad

Marie, 

you ask a very short and hence very difficult question. 

> George, can I ask you this. Do you work in an archive with limited space?

----- I shall answer all the aspects I can see in it.

1) yes, both to archival space and to laboratory space. The first would make 
me deplore having to provide space for two boxes where one would do. The 
second may prevent me from doing more than just try to play the tape, give up 
and put it back in its box. It saves a lot of time.

2) the second aspect is "what is an archive". In my case it is a reference 
collection of recording, storage, and reproduction principles exemplified by 
individual samples. Attached to this is a collection of challenged artefacts 
(wear, fungus, exposure to unsuitable climate). If a principle can only be 
determined from a recording by statistical analysis, I may have a number of 
similarly looking recordings. The archive only serves myself and those that I 
teach in courses (in the beginning at the School of Conservation in 
Copenhagen, now only as a private lecturer and consultant). Unless the 
archive goes to an institution it will disappear with me.

3) the third aspect is "work". I do professional work in this field, but I 
cannot sustain my private economy on that. I have a great freedom to choose 
what I want to investigate. Those who do archive work for a living rarely 
have this freedom.

4) one aspect is your own reason for asking the question. It would seem that 
you have limited physical space. However, in Eric's solution (1) the only 
extra space needed is the volume taken up by the many leaders that he has to 
insert. And remember, he does that, not only to cater for different tape 
stock types, but also to cater for differences in azimuth in a tape that is 
composed of several pieces recorded on possibly different machines. It is an 
admirable approach that does not seem to take more time than doing a proper 
job.

Perhaps you are referring to space in the computer filing system for the 
metadata. Perhaps it is the your experience that fields are too small, the 
vocabulary uncontrolled. I myself have no limitation on fields, because they 
are only limited by the next separator.

A number of statements I have made over the years have irritated archvists in 
large archives, because I have gone to the fundamentals, something of a 
luxury in archive circles. The IASA Conference in Vienna 1999 was a good 
example: the audience gasped when I said that the future would want breadth 
rather than a few, selected items picked out for the perfect transfer. This 
can only be obtained by spending less time on fine-tuning a transfer 
(reducing the factor), in order to provide more preserved sound. Even lack of 
detailled documentation of the procedures (something of a time spender in 
transfer) could be dispensed with: rather a trace of almost anything than 
High Fidelity of the few chosen items. I do not say these things lightly, I 
have thought about them; one publication I can recommend is:

Brock-Nannestad, G.: "Applying the Concept of Operational Conservation Theory 
to Problems of Audio Restoration and Archiving Practice", AES Preprint No. 
4612, 103nd Convention 1997 September 26-29, New York.

It is well worth the USD 20 to non-AES members, and at USD 5 to members it is 
a gift.

So, you see what a short question (and a hint of sarcasm??) can provide as an 
answer.

Kind regards,


George

--------------------------------------------------------------------


> > From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
> >
> >
> > Hello,
> >
> > Marie O'Connell wrote, and George comments:
> >
> > >
> > > I really like your thinking here Eric, as I can see you have really
> > > thought
> > > about it and worked with it.
> > >
> > > As others have said, there can be problems with each method, attaching
> > > like
> > > with like, and documenting with leader, details, eventually the lose of
> a
> > > tape and the information if it is not well documented, etc.
> > >
> > > I would love to separate it all into stock parts and document that but
> > the
> > > reality is....time and person power.  Do we actually have the time to
> do
> > > all
> > > of this?  This would also involve for our archive, discussing at great
> > > length a new file format to deal with this as it now becomes more that
> > one
> > > object.  These objects have already been alloted a numbering system, as
> a
> > > single file (if they have been preserved)..  Also, do we house them
> > > together?  This also involves somehow extending the shelving, which is
> > > already tight, to fit the 'extra tapes' in.
> >
> > ----- you seem to presume (as did Mike Biel) that from one reel we get
> two
> > reels. In a world where we could store each item according to its
> > individual
> > climatic requirements, this would be natural. However, why not keep it
> on
> > one
> > reel, only shuffled according to Eric's rule (1). This would only mean
> to
> > stick end-to end that which has already been necessary work for the
> > transfer
> > process.
> >
> > The question then becomes a combination of "tails out?" and "acetate or
> > polyester out?". I would propose SS-prone out, because that provides the
> > largest radius of curvature of that part of the pack.
> >
> > Discussions of file format "at great length" is never expenditure, it is
> > investment, and you had better plan ahead.
> >
> > >
> > > Archivally and considering the integrity of what we deal with, I
> believe
> > > the
> > > practise is to leave it the way it is, but document it thoroughly,
> which
> > I
> > > am sure we all hope, wish and have great hopes in, will remain in the
> > > metadata we are presently creating. (fingers crossed!).
> >
> > ----- well, the way I understand Eric is that it is already impossible
> to
> > leave it the way it is, because it has been separated to bits in the
> > process.
> > So, you could just as well be intelligent about re-assembly. And if you
> are
> > using a system in which you need to keep your fingers crossed and hope
> for
> > consistency and validity of the metadata--well, then your system is not
> > good
> > enough. If you can neither authenticate nor find information as to what
> you
> > have done to the original, you could just as well discard it after
> having
> > made the documented transfer. It all comes down to trusting the person
> who
> > has performed the transfer.
> >
> > >
> > > However, there are problems faced by archives and perhaps not places
> who
> > > do
> > > not already have a system in place and there are great resources for
> them
> > > to
> > > go to with ARSC and IASA and FACET, etc.
> > >
> > > cheers
> > > Marie
> > >
> > > On Fri, Jun 12, 2009 at 6:35 PM, George Brock-Nannestad
> > > <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
> > >
> > > > From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
> > > >
> > > > Hello,
> > > >
> > > > with reference to his earlier posting
> > > >
> > > > Subject:        [ARSCLIST] Best practice: mixed acetate and
> polyester
> > > reels
> > > > with
> > > > sticky shed
> > > >        Date sent:      Thu, 11 Jun 2009 00:08:48 -0700
> > > >
> > > >  - and in response to several responses on the list
> > > >
> > > > Eric Jacobs wrote:
> > > >
> > > > ...........
> > > > >
> > > > > Anyway, I don't want to persevere on the tape type too much, and
> > > > > would rather focus on the best way to process an acetate/polyester
> > > > > reel with "sticky" tape in the mix.
> > > > >
> > > >
> > > > ----- Eric, people respond to what they can relate to and where they
> > > > believe
> > > > they can provide useful input. It does not appear that those who are
> > > > concerned with the nitty-gritty of treating tape types are
> necessarily
> > > > those
> > > > who have a philosophical view of what is to be done with our
> heritage
> > in
> > > > the
> > > > long run. The authenticity and authentication issues I brought up in
> my
> > > > response almost never feature in preservation discussions, except in
> > > > forensic
> > > > work. Undoing splices is one of the grossest attacks on the
> integrity
> > of
> > > a
> > > > linear file (which a tape is). I remember my movie projectionist
> days:
> > a
> > > > film
> > > > had split in several places and at the time you lost one frame for
> each
> > > > splice. I put the film back together for screening, and--oh,
> shame--a
> > > > sequence of a man climbing ladders to paste a huge poster was
> suddenly
> > > > showing a man rocketing and plummeting and working on several sheets
> at
> > > > once.
> > > > I had to take the film apart again and find the correct sequence.
> > Losing
> > > > several frames.
> > > >
> > > > Kind regards,
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > George
> > > >
> >

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