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The Preservation Directorate of the Library of Congress announces the 54th presentation in the Topics in Preservation Series (TOPS):


"Optical Scanning Applied to Recorded Sound Preservation and Access: Status and Prospects"


Whittall Pavillion, Thomas Jefferson Building, ground floor

Library of Congress

101 Independence Avenue SE

Washington DC 20540


Monday, October 4, 2010



A major problem in the preservation of older audio recordings is that, traditionally, playback of mechanical sound carriers has been an inherently invasive process.  Since 2004, the Library of Congress and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have collaborated on the development of techniques based upon non-contact optical metrology and image processing, in order to preserve and create access to mechanical sound carriers without impacting the integrity of the original carriers. 


Dr. Carl Haber, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Senior Scientist, will describe the present status of this research, with a particular emphasis on three dimensional (3D) surface profiling. This technique permits the extension of non-contact playback to non-planar media such as cylinders, and may provide more accurate data from planar carriers than a two-dimensional approach.


Additional information on the LC-LBNL collaboration can be found at


Dr. Haber is an experimental physicist.  He received his Ph.D. in Physics from Columbia University and is a Senior Scientist in the Physics Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory at the University of California.  Much of his research interest involves the development of instrumentation and methods for detecting and measuring particles created at high energy colliders, such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN near Geneva, Switzerland.  These interests have also led him, and his colleagues, to apply techniques in use in this research to the topic of sound restoration.  He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.



Webcast opportunity:  If you would like to participate via webcast, send email to [log in to unmask] no less than two days in advance of the event.


The Topics in Preservation Series lectures are free and open to the public.

For further details and updated information about the series, please visit




Dianne van der Reyden

Director for Preservation

Library of Congress

101 Independence Ave. S.E.

Washington, D.C. 20540-4500


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