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Old 9th Mar 2018, 9:40 am   #1
brunel
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Default The British Library's race to save old audio recordings

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/technol...io-recordings#
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Old 9th Mar 2018, 12:38 pm   #2
dave walsh
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Default Re: The British Library's race to save old audio recordings

Thanks Brunel. This ties in quite nicely with the recent amazing "Morecambe and Wise Program Recovery" thread!

Dave W

PS. I wondered if there was more? The 2 minute clip is dated 6th March. The link to related full program doesn't! The I-Player latest editions are Barcelona 3rd March, Face 24th Feb and Light 17th Feb?

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Old 9th Mar 2018, 1:52 pm   #3
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Default Re: The British Library's race to save old audio recordings

I recall hearing a programme on the radio about a decade ago that addressed this problem in relation to magnetic tape. Ironic that Shellac and Vinyl seem to be the most future-proof audio media.
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Old 9th Mar 2018, 4:28 pm   #4
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Default Re: The British Library's race to save old audio recordings

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Ironic that Shellac and Vinyl seem to be the most future-proof audio media.
Even better, the gold records on the Voyager spacecraft!
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Old 9th Mar 2018, 8:02 pm   #5
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Default Re: The British Library's race to save old audio recordings

I saw this on the BBC website this morning as well. It struck me that between them, the membership of this forum very likely have every single type of format reader / player the library could possibly need, but I assume they have their own versions already of course.

I was already aware that the library gets a copy of just about every printed work ever published in the UK (where does it keep them all?) but didn't know this also extended to media recordings. I wonder if it also extends to other things such as eighties era computer software cassettes, and so on.
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Old 9th Mar 2018, 9:06 pm   #6
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Default Re: The British Library's race to save old audio recordings

A problem mentioned on the programme a decade ago was the man-hours that would be needed to transfer the amount of stuff they had, with the danger of some of it becoming unusable before there would be time to get round to it.
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 12:17 am   #7
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Default Re: The British Library's race to save old audio recordings

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Originally Posted by SiriusHardware View Post
I saw this on the BBC website this morning as well. It struck me that between them, the membership of this forum very likely have every single type of format reader / player the library could possibly need, but I assume they have their own versions already of course.

I was already aware that the library gets a copy of just about every printed work ever published in the UK (where does it keep them all?) but didn't know this also extended to media recordings. I wonder if it also extends to other things such as eighties era computer software cassettes, and so on.
There are three libraries that have a requirement for printed material, the B.L. being one.
I suspect they have them stored in various warehouses and places around London. Certainly I know for certain that Sheffield Archives uses storage places around the city for example. In many instances you have to give them advanced notice if you want to see something. Often an hour or more. So I should imagine the B.L. do the same.
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 12:26 am   #8
dave walsh
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Default Re: The British Library's race to save old audio recordings

All good info. Still looking to see if the audio recordings piece was more than two minutes long on the actual Click Program

Grubhead you are very probaly right about this great Forum but overall folks , just don't assume anything re the BBC [and I'm a long term supporter]. I went to a talk near Ramsbottom, given by a chap who volunteered at the National Sound Archive [Skipton Castle Branch] in the 1980's. I asked him why they were preserving Falklands War material when the Beeb would obviously have it already? He looked at me and said "You think so?"

Dave

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Old 10th Mar 2018, 2:59 am   #9
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Default Re: The British Library's race to save old audio recordings

The BL paper archives are at Boston Spa (wherever that is). It usually takes a few days to get stuff sent to London. At any rate, that was the case when I had to make use of their facilities for work a few years ago.

In the 1990's I found that the sound archives were based in London when I made enquiries about some "Harry Champion" and other Edwardian music hall records that I used to have as a child, but they didn't have them. If they had had them, and copies were not available commercially, they would have copied them onto a cassette for me for a fixed fee per cassette. I don't know what the present arrangements are. (I later managed to get most of them on CD from "Windyridge", and some others are on Youtube).
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 11:09 am   #10
Ted Kendall
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Default Re: The British Library's race to save old audio recordings

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Originally Posted by dave walsh View Post
I asked him why they were preserving Falklands War material when the Beeb would obviously have it already? He looked at me and said "You think so?"
The "keep everything" approach only became practical with the advent of mass digital storage - an attempt was made to preserve everything of "Radio Scud" during the first Iraq war, when R4FM was turned into a rolling news service for the duration. This relied on a bank of DAT machines, and was largely successful...except that the war started about ten o'clock at night and the machines weren't running, so the first couple of hours didn't get preserved.

I bought a box of tapes a while ago and found that it seemed to contain wall-to-wall The World Tonight from the Falklands campaign. That's a nice job for a wet weekend...
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 11:38 am   #11
dave walsh
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Default Re: The British Library's race to save old audio recordings

That's very interesting Ted and illustrates what was said re the Click piece that that the transfer process can be very time consuming. If you processed the DAT
tapes where would they go I wonder?
Apologies to Siruis , it was actually your comment quoted by Grubhead. I meant to edit that mistake.

Dave
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Old 10th Mar 2018, 1:06 pm   #12
Ted Kendall
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Default Re: The British Library's race to save old audio recordings

The Falklands stuff is off-speed 4.75 quarter track, but decent enough. Lord knows who'd want it, and it being my bread and butter, I tend to do the stuff I get paid for - the ratio of work to running time on a restoration can easily exceed 20:1...
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