At 02:36 PM 3/30/2004 -0500, Dave Radlauer wrote:

>Yes, but . . . the beneficial trade-offs (from archival standpoint as
>advocated by Library of Congress and proponents of an overarching digital
>environment) are:
>1)  the functionality of digital storage;
>2) wide dissemination with searchability, wide access to indexes and contents
>via electronic means (i.e. internet, CD-ROM, other future technologies);
>3)  longer term stability of actual content vs. steady aging, fragility and
>degradation of analog original source materials.

Perhaps the overwhelming advantage of digital archiving is lossless

><< There will be no discoveries of long lost documents in a neglected
>warehouse or attic. >>
>Yes there will because a large portion of rare materials are currently in the
>hands of private collectors, family legacies, and basements.
>Two examples:
>I'm currently working with an archive which has acquired  from a private
>party a sizeable collection (700+ discs) of electrical broadcast
>ranging from the late 1930s to the early 1950s.  These were long preserved
>by a
>private party involved in the original productions, until such time as an
>institution expressed interest in long term preservation.
>I frequently collaborate with a non-profit jazz foundation engaged in
>preservation which frequently has rare materials offered, bequeathed or
>donated by
>private individuals.  As a vintage jazz broadcaster, I've had people give me
>discovered materials, tapes, acetate discs, cassettes, of genuinely rare

I'll add two more, if I may. A few months ago, a friend brought over some
tapes he had never annotated. He thought they might contain material of
interest to me - that is, operatic. Only one did, but that had a major gem:
a broadcast from the Edinburgh Festival in 1957, a remarkable performance
which was thought to have been lost. On the other side was a Callas
broadcast, only the second known to exist of that performance and in far
better sound than the extant tape.

More remotely, a few years ago metal parts were discovered in a Naples
basement which proved to be unissued recordings by one of the last of the
'bel canto' tenors, Fernando de Lucia. They have since been pressed on
vinyl (yes, at "78" rpm) and issued by Historic Masters, Ltd.

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