I heard back from the British Library today - it seems that the email
thread just got lost in the shuffle and my message to the list prompted a
response. They're interested in taking the digital copies of the discs, so
I'll be sending those along to them.
I heard from several other institutions interested in the physical discs
here in the US. I'm sorting through the messages and will make a decision
When I talked with the British Library and the BBC back in June/July, I
provided the full inventory link I posted earlier to the list, which
includes condition notes on a few of the discs that had problems and the
programs that were incomplete. We also discussed the problems in shipping
costs for the discs and I provided links to some of the transfers so they
could get an idea of the sound quality.
On Tue, Dec 2, 2014 at 5:06 AM, Nick Morgan <
[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I'm surprised to read that the British Library isn't interested. Over the
> last few years the BL has acquires several collections of broadcast
> recordings (in-house and off-air) and I'm positive it would be interested
> this material, in the right circumstances.
> Just recently, at least two large collections of off-air broadcast
> recordings have been catalogued, digitised, and made available to BL
> readers. See under 'Faded text' in this BL blog post:
> Another important collection acquired by the BL and including many
> recordings is the Leech Collection - and more are mentioned here:
> I personally know one BL curator who is always on the look-out for more
> Of course, lack of information about exact contents and condition, and
> potential shipping costs, might give pause for reflection, so it's
> that the relevant curators are given as much information as possible.
> Who did you contact at the BL, may I ask, and who responded and how? Did
> she or they refuse outright?
> It's become a bit of a standard trope that large institutions don't 'seem
> interested' in this sort of material. I agree it's true of some, but it's
> certainly not true of the British Library and I'm sure it wouldn't want
> impression to be given public currency without qualification.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Randy A. Riddle
> Sent: 02 December 2014 01:45
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Possible home for some BBC transcriptions?
> I'm turning to the group for some advice on a group of BBC transcriptions
> that came my way a few months ago.
> The story behind them is rather curious. A man in the military in the
> early 70s got a large group of Armed Forces and BBC transcriptions from an
> AFRS station in Asia when they were cleaning out a storage room. He mailed
> the discs to his home near Seattle and they stayed boxed up in his garage,
> untouched, until about a year ago when his daughter was ready to throw them
> out. A neighbor took them and eventually contacted me.
> The Old Time Radio Researchers Group agreed to take the discs. I wound up
> with the BBC transcriptions and a couple of other volunteers got the AFRS
> The neighbor was hoping the discs could go to an archives. I've not had
> any luck - I talked with the BBC and the British Library, but they didn't
> seem interested. I've donated my discs to Duke University of American
> shows, but they're reluctant to take them because of copyright - they're
> interested in material that connects to their other collecting areas and
> that can eventually be made available through their online digital
> I've made digital transfers of all the discs and will probably have 300 dpi
> scans of all the labels done over the holiday break.
> The collection consists of about 80 discs, all shellac 16"ers, dating from
> 1947-48. The programming is varied - everything from classical, "pops",
> and big band music programs to dramas, variety shows and news shows.
> There's an inventory here:
> Is there any institution here in the states that might want these? They're
> pretty expensive to ship, especially outside of the US.
> While I find the collection fascinating, I've got a small apartment and
> really don't have room for them with my main transcription collection.
> Any suggestions appreciated.