In a message dated 7/22/03 2:17:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time, [log in to unmask] writes:

>  I accumulated
>  > several reels of tape at 1-7/8 "/sec with the thought that this would be
> of
>  > interest "someday."

>  Ah, but did you save any of their music broadcasts?

>  Karl

At that time I was building up a library of classical music on tape, so, yes, that was the primary reason for listening.

However I have little interest in listening to these music recordings.  I probably have a hundred copies of Beethoven's 5th and multiple copies, even the original records, of most of the classical selections broadcast then. 

There isn't likely to be a problem with long term preservation of musical recordings.  Performances worth listening to will be replicated and reissued indefinitely, with enough copies in many media to assure preservation in some form for a very long time. The task of preserving the masters of the "million selling hits of the 60s" is quite different from creating a historical reference archive of the sounds of the times.  Mainly because much money is available for it.

It is the task of providing an archive of the sounds that for the background of the times that requires a different approach. How many copies are there of the broadcasts of the 1956 political conventions? (Another set of tapes I reused.) Where would one go to listen to or copy them?  I'm sure they are being preserved somewhere, but how accessible are they?

Then there are the local political speeches, PSAs, commercials, morning drive time talk shows, etc. How much of this is available from half a century ago? In what form? What steps are being made to systematically sample and preserve it for another fifty years?

Mike Csontos