On Sun, 26 Feb 2006 [log in to unmask] wrote:

> The people I feel sorry for are the ones who go to great pains to donate
> their collections to museums or institutions that they think will preserve and
> care for them.  I've seen people's life work end up in the trash after they
> hauled it across the continent just to get it to the museum.

Our local public library makes decisions by format, and not by content.
Hence, any recording not on a CD will be sold. Here at the University,
there is, as far as I know, no systemic attempt to preserve and/or acquire
unique recordings and duplicates are sent to surplus and sold in lots,
with no attempt to identify rare items and maximize return.

Also, in my experience, unique recordings are refused by libraries and
archives...either they have no knowledge of the significance of an item,
feel like they don't have resources to deal with them...etc. So, things
get dump at resale shops. I am reminded of some tapes that came my
way...tapes refused by several libraries, recordings about to be dumped,
which I accepted for our library, that made their way to releases on
Arbiter and Pearl.

The whole system is so screwy. You read of the job qualifications for
positions of responsibility in recordings archives...Masters degree in
Library Science and "preferred" background in music. Nothing is mentioned
of knowledge of discography, technology, etc. As for the aforementioned
tapes, performances by Mieczyslaw HORSZOWSKI...I guess you can't blame the
other libraries, the librarians probably never heard of him, let alone
have any knowledge of what he had recorded commercially...and will often
refuse such donations because they don't have the machines to play the

For me, it is a bit like a natural history museum refusing a donation of
some skeleton of the a previously unknown species because they didn't know
what it was, or that the bones were too big for their van.

> I suppose it's OK if it lets them die happy, but it seems that there should
> be a better way. Ebay may be the best we have for now.

Or as several of my friends have decided, last guy standing gets it all.
At this point in my life, I hope I am not the last one to go.

A related note...a friend of mine recently reminded me of this old,
excellent and yet frustrating article.