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----- Original Message -----
From: "Mike Richter" <[log in to unmask]>
> 4. We must remember that we are dealing with a monotonically decreasing
> supply of information. That is, not only are the recordings gradually
> disappearing, but we are losing primary sources - those involved in
> creating the works and the recordings - and in many cases secondary ones -
> their descendants, friends and colleagues. Similarly, primary and
secondary
> documentation is lost or discarded. I suggest that the need is not only to
> preserve that material but to make those who have such sources or who are
> such sources aware of the need for preservation and of the availability of
> help in that preservation. A friend was a composer who taught in Los
> Angeles from well before it became a haven for the likes of Schoenberg and
> Stravinsky. He knew them well and regaled us with tales of the musical
> community in that era and of other communities earlier (he had supered for
> Mary Garden's Chicago opera, for example). But he could not be persuaded
to
> record his recollections in any form and when he passed away at age 93, we
> lost the opportunity to access that source. He was sure no one would be
> interested.
> All too often, the passing of a collector means the dispersal or discard
of
> the collection; unless care is taken beforehand, the correlations and
> documentation that represent much of the value is lost. I suppose I'm
> pleading for a central registry of collections so that one could easily
> find for any special interest where to turn for what has been amassed,
what
> is documented and what may be accepted under what conditions. Even in
> classical recording where early documentation is relatively extensive,
> repositories are not generally known or widely accessible. It is one thing
> for Historic Masters to publish Fonotipia logs and quite another to know
> where to turn for validation or exemplars.
What should be noted here (and, to a certain extent, is) is the fact that
if the collector was also active in discography to any extent, EVERYTHING
he/she/it had discovered and not published will also be lost! Quite often,
the data only existed in a personal memory, without any "hard copies" of
any sort...and even if notes WERE taken, old papers are often casually
discarded as worthless (which they may be in terms of monetary value)

I can think of several collector/discographers we have lost over the past
10-15 years, and in each case a substantial amount of never-published data
was lost as well!

BTW, those involved with this thread might (or should) be aware of "Project
Gramophone," the archiving proposal of Jon Noring!

Steven C. Barr