Dave Hummel - a collector - posted a nice report on his visit to both LOC  
facilities on the cast records newsgroup. There was enough relevant info in 
his  post that I asked Dave if I could cross post it. He gave me permission 
to post  on both 78-L and ARSClist so I'm doing that. I think you'll find it 
Steve Ramm 

Hello All,

I would like to thank several people for the wonderful trip I had 

going to the Library of Congress in both Washington, D.C. and 

Culpeper, VA.  Mark Horowitz, Senior Music Specialist with the Music  

Division and CastRecL member,  Sam Brylawski who used to head the 

Recorded Sound Division, now retired and creating a complete 

catalogue of RCA 78s, also on CastRecL.  In addition, many thanks go  

to Gene DeAnna who now heads the Recorded Sound Division in Culpeper,  VA.

I arrived with a friend on Monday (22nd) and went directly to the 

Music Department in the Madison Building to meet with Mark 

Horowitz.  We had a great time seeing it for the first time and also  

touring the Jefferson Building which has to be the most beautiful 

building in Washington, D.C.  After dinner we came back to the 

Jefferson Building's Coolidge Auditorium to see a concert version of 

LIFE BEGINS AT 8:40.  The one night presentation will be recorded 

next week and issued on PS Classics.  The concert was a delight. and  

I, for one, can't wait for the CD.  It was such a treat to hear this  

score with the original orchestrations played by 22 wonderful 

musicians.  Thanks to Mark and Sam for seeing that there were tickets  

for us.  At this same event it was great to meet Doug Reside 

(CastRecL member) from the University of Maryland, who is creating a 

web site honoring the career of Danny Kaye.

For information on LIFE BEGINS AT 8:40 go 

to:  _ 

On Tuesday Sam picked us up and we drove to Culpeper, VA to visit the 

Recorded Sound Division.  This was the first time I have visited 

since I donated the collection.  I know some folks have a vision of  

donating a collection only to have it end up stored in boxes 

gathering dust in some musty basement of an organization.  Well, let  

me tell you, nothing could be further from the truth at the Library 

of Congress.  Gene met us and we toured the facility.  To call the  

place amazing would be an understatement..

After visiting the theatre where films in the Library's collection 

are shown regularly, we went to see where new acquisitions are stored 

until they are processed.  When my collection arrived it took up an  

entire wall of this huge room.  Now is takes up a few shelves with a  

small number of personality CDs and a few 10 1/2 inch reels yet to be 

processed.  Ninety nine percent of the collection has been processed  

and is in one of many environmentally controlled storage 

vaults.  Each item is given a catalogue number and bar code.  As  

things are processed the information is entered into a database.  As  

the recordings are digitized a small icon will appear next to the 

item and one can then listen to it on the computer or have it piped 

into one of many listening rooms.  Listening can be done in Culpeper  

or in Washington, D.C. once the item has been digitized.

Next we saw the high speed robotic machines that work 24/7 to 

reformat the analog content of video cassettes.  In other rooms 

engineers work to digitize analog audio recordings such as the 

thousands of tapes in my collection.  They have already started to 

digitize my collection but these analog recordings must be done in 

real time.  I was then introduced to IRENE (Image, Reconstruct, Erase  

Noise, Etc.), which basically makes a digital image of a broken 

record and can reconstruct the recording from this.  The technology  

there is absolutely unbelievable.  For anyone interested, here is a  

link which gives you details of the facility and the 

technology.  ._ 

Before going home we met my good friend Judy Temperley (another 

CastRecL member) for lunch.  All in all it was a great trip to see 

where my collection now resides.

Again, my sincere thanks to Mark Horowitz, Sam Brylawski and Gene 

DeAnna for making it possible.

David Hummel