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 in
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 broadcast
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 such
Of course, lack of information about exact contents and condition, and
potential shipping costs, might give pause for reflection, so it's essential
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 he,
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 that
impression to be given public currency without qualification.
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.