There are audio-focused archives and those where the object is also of importance. The ability of scholars to examine a record is important when they are being scholarly. Clues about a recordings history are embedded in shellac rather than amber. One example that comes to mind is if the matrix number of a pressing is in the same typeface as its earliest issue. If not, it may indicate a later stamper, a reworked groove or a dubbing. Labels often change when repressings are made. Electrical records made by the Western Electric method are coded differently from those using other systems, information helpful when making equalization choices.
Speaking of dubbing, are we commiting hubris by assuming that a copying job can never be done better in the future?
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Stephen M.H. Braitman
Sent: Sunday, December 27, 2020 2:03 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Question for Archivists and Preservationists
Hello, one and all:
We almost made it through this mad year. Glad you’re all still around.
I’d appreciate some feedback to this issue directed to those of you who manage collections and archives and are tasked with preservation, acquisition, and/or “refinement” :
Is the importance of physical material in libraries and archives decreasing due to the surge in usage of digital files?
Do you see a future when physical artifacts are no longer collected, archived, preserved, once they have been effectively digitized or otherwise electronically manifested?
And, finally, is this situation causing institutions to, at least, look more seriously at their archives and collections for their pertinence and relevance, thus causing a paring down or refocusing of their priorities?
Sorry to be long-winded, but thanks for any thoughts you might have.
Happy new year!
Stephen M.H. Braitman, ASA
Accredited Senior Appraiser of Music
Archives & Memorabilia
American Society of Appraisers