Libraries are only one of the locations where recorded interviews are made and stored. Thinking about SBS radio recordings I did 20 years ago in Australia on bilingualism, community languages, mother tongue education etc. for my own community but the SBS ethnic radio units couldn't preserve their recorded interviews due to technical limitations, things might have improved now. What I'm trying to say is in some cases you might have the record but not the recording itself!

Hi everybody,
Thank you in advance for your advice :).

We are currently mapping data from a legacy collection descriptive system
to one that will comply with EAD and EAC standards.

I have a query about describing the duration of oral history interview
tape recordings, and would be very grateful for some clarification from
the group.

So, in our Oral History & Sound collection data, current measures include
Quantity, Number of Interviews, and Duration. Quantity is currently an
integer, plus a lookup list for ‘type’, plus a space for free text. We are
retaining this and have mapped the elements fairly straightforwardly to
<physdesc> <extent><unit>, <physdesc> <extent type="[value]">, and
<physdesc> <extent>. Number of Interviews is an integer and we have mapped
it to <physdesc> <extent><unit>.

Our field Duration contains a number only, representing number of minutes.
At first take we had mapped it to <materialSpec>, as the Preface to the
EAD tag library states “Information such as scale for technical drawings
and maps and playing time for sound recordings can be expressed in
<materialspec>”, and the <materialspec> tag description includes “…
physical presentation data for music records”.

However we feel that Duration may also be usefully mapped to Extent, and
note that the <extent> tag library includes “…the volume of a data file in
bytes”, which we feel may be comparable.

I would really appreciate any experience or clarification others can offer
in this area please?


Nicola Frean | Leader, Arrangement & Description
Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand
PO Box 12349
DDI: +64 4 4623903