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Audio Preservation & Musical Genealogy – Karlin Hicks

March 9, 2012

I have been taking a preservation studies class and we recently completed a module on audio preservation. One of the commonly discussed topics was the lack of resources, access and understanding about audio librarianship by the public, as well as by students seeking research opportunities. I was fascinated by the topic and after a little digging discovered that there seems to be little effort to curate academic collections of popular music. There are some resources out there but they are difficult to access and find. I am not entirely certain which direction I would like to go with this yet, but I would like to do something along the following lines- A curated collection of music grouped by musical genealogy categories, related genres or significant influences. I would then try to direct users to the specific resources for recordings of such music. Currently I have found a handful of libraries that provide access, there is also limited access through the LOC audio site. Since the groupings are to a certain extent subjective, I would try to base the groupings on the least subjective methods possible (era, instruments used, timing and tempo, genre, technologies used, music labels etc). This is a pretty rough idea at this point but it has been floating around in my head for a few weeks now. I am a bit of a music nerd and am often discouraged by the amount of effort it can take to locate material. I once searched for a few days to locate a studio conversation between Lead Belly and Woody Guthrie that it turns out was available through the Smithsonian all along… that would have saved this frustrated History student some serious time! I think I will need to consider structure more than content at this time but after a few days of research I think I can get an idea of what would serve researchers or librarians best.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. sesedell permalink
    March 10, 2012 12:14 pm

    Karlin, your idea sounds so interesting! I am curious to hear how it progresses.

  2. derek permalink*
    March 15, 2012 8:50 am

    Rather than create a whole new audio indexing scheme, how about a simple pathfinder to those “hard to find” audio resources? Simple, direct, for a specific audience and LIS related. Your music-geekiness is great but will waylay you and drag you into a jungle. Creating a new way to curate audio collections will be a life’s work sort of project.

  3. merrily chopp permalink
    March 19, 2012 12:22 pm

    This sounds like a cool and challenging project, I will be interested to check it out!

  4. April 25, 2012 6:33 pm

    So far I am stumbling across an interesting mix of audio resources. I belive I am heading in the direction suggested by Derek. This has taken on a life of its own already. The biggest difficulty I am having at this point is determining the most relavent of the “hard to find” etc. I suppose this is a problem that plauges LIS professionals no matter what the media…

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