True, but it also means that unless you make a summer job for someone to
index these white boxes you are throwing away gems as well. I always
give the same example. I was transferring a tape that was supposed to
have 6 minutes of video on it. After six minutes the tape went to snow,
but I had to pee, so I let the machine run figuring I'll edit out the
snow when I get back. When I came back there was a recording dated late
87 early 88 (early days of the first Palestinian uprising). The video
was of a talk back session in a Kibbutz with the defense minister at the
time Yitzhak Rabin. It is a very rare and historically important
document beyond belief and I always wonder just how many of these gems
we miss in our collections because we don't have the human resources to
On 8/6/2010 10:34 AM, Marie O'Connell wrote:
> Why would I, as an archivist, waste my time on undocumented material as
> opposed to documented? If there is documentation with the item that is
> relevant to our archive, then yes, I will. But a random tape with nothing
> written on the box, no notes or anything becomes a lower priority. Some of
> our accessioned tape may say one word on it.....I look it up and go to many
> lengths to find anything to link it, and if it does I move on. afterall, I
> am one person dealing with hundreds and thousands of hours of accessions
> with very little documentation.
> Unfortunately we do not have funding for mass analogue tape presently. If I
> had my way we would do it all regardless, but I have constraints with
> management who seem to think content is more important than fragile media.
> On Fri, Aug 6, 2010 at 8:08 PM, George Brock-Nannestad<[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>> From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
>> Marie, you wrote a good situation report on acetate tape. But you also made
>> this statement of a philosophical nature, and it goes right to the centre
>> the idea of archiving.
>>> Thoughts - we are only human and as we get older can we possibly listen
>>> all that is offered?
>> ----- actually it is not us who are going to listen to the various
>> That will be endless generations of seekers of information and enjoyment.
>> They will want breadth in the collection, the ability of the collection to
>> provide a relevant sound, irrespective of the context the end user is
>> it in. Honestly, I think that they will thank breadth more than quality.
>> Although we are proud of our almost forensic skills in extracting the
>> of signal, and preserving it in a quality decided by the deficiencies
>> than primary content of the recording, I think that far too much time is
>> being spent on transfers. A factor 30 (30 minutes of work for one minute of
>> recording) is not unknown in archive circles, and it is madness, if a
>> transfer can be done at a factor 10. Three times as much can be preserved!
>> fully realize that in order to be able to prepare a continuous tape for
>> transfer a lot of cleaning and replacing of splices has to take place. But
>> why would you want to re-splice two pieces of tape if they are a minute
>> each? Why not keep track of the bits and transfer the smaller pieces, to be
>> joined at any later stage and to any desired quality in the digital domain?
>> Ah, then you need leader tape at both ends. Yes, but these particular
>> will only have to withstand one play! I think that economy of time may be
>> made. But azimuth still has to be corrected at the time of transfer.
>> The linear listening means that finding a poorly indexed recording will
>> require very much time when searching for relevant material. I doubt that
>> future seekers will have the patience. The time spent on transfer could
>> probably be better spent at indexing. Listening 1:1 and writing down
>> and other identifiers against a timecode is still only a factor 1! But
>> probably that is not good use of technically trained transfer specialists,
>> but there should be lots of summer jobs for budding oral historians.
>> I really think that we let the ideal stand in the way of the doable. I was
>> almost lynched when I stated something like this at the IASA Conference in
>> Vienna 1999, but I think that we need to rethink the idea of archiving for
>> the future. We will get no support from politicians who want society to
>> a short memory, and an edited one at that. Try asking historians instead. I
>> am quite convinced that they would rather have authenticated copies in less
>> than mint-appearing quality than no copies at all, due to deselection
>> of capacity problems.
>> Just my 2 cents worth (but at a factor 30 it is 60 cents!).
>> Kind regards,