Hello Stephen, and everybody,

While there has been a boom in the last twenty or so years for digital acquisitions, and (depending on your archive) sometimes fewer physical acquisitions, the physical materials are still arriving at our archive in significant enough numbers to require processing plans, schedules for processing, space issue resolution, etc. If physical acquisitions do disappear entirely ("paperless office" you say?!) then it may be 10-20 more years before it happens, and then still, not entirely gone. Collectors still have physical materials from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and earlier. The only challenge will be accessing intellectual content from media for which we have not got (or maintained) the equipment.

My .02 cents, in a wild economy.

Marcia K. Segal

+   *   +   *   +   *

My opinions are my own, since no one else wants them.

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Stephen M.H. Braitman
Sent: Sunday, December 27, 2020 2:03 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [ARSCLIST] Question for Archivists and Preservationists

Hello, one and all:

We almost made it through this mad year. Glad you’re all still around.

I’d appreciate some feedback to this issue directed to those of you who manage collections and archives and are tasked with preservation, acquisition, and/or “refinement” :

Is the importance of physical material in libraries and archives decreasing due to the surge in usage of digital files? 

Do you see a future when physical artifacts are no longer collected, archived, preserved, once they have been effectively digitized or otherwise electronically manifested?

And, finally, is this situation causing institutions to, at least, look more seriously at their archives and collections for their pertinence and relevance, thus causing a paring down or refocusing of their priorities?

Sorry to be long-winded, but thanks for any thoughts you might have.

Happy new year!


Stephen M.H. Braitman, ASA
Accredited Senior Appraiser of Music 
    Archives & Memorabilia
American Society of Appraisers