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Cylinder Audio Archive

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Cylinder Audio Archive is a free digital collection maintained by the University of California, Santa Barbara Library with streaming and downloadable versions of over 10,000 phonograph cylinders manufactured between 1893 and the mid-1920s. The Archive began in November 2003 as the successor of the earlier Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Pilot Project.

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Transcription

Deep within the climate-controlled vaults at Library & Archives Canada’s Preservation Centre, are over 130,000 hours of video recordings, and 400,000 hours of audio recordings of historical significance. Library & Archives Canada is mandated to preserve and to make accessible these recordings to current and future generations. The ability to preserve older video and audio recordings is threatened… because much of the playback equipment that is required to access and copy content… is no longer available. Finding the parts and expertise to maintain this equipment is becoming increasingly difficult. In many cases, equipment has to be redesigned in order for it to continue to operate. When the equipment can no longer be repaired, our ability to copy this material will be lost forever. Therefore, migrating this material to a useable format is a high priority. Video content is migrated to the JPEG2000 file format for preservation. Lower quality MPEG4 files are made for access purposes. Some of the video formats that have been identified at high risk of obsolescence, and thus prioritized for digitization, include: 2-inch Quad; 2-inch helical; 1-inch C format; and ¾” U-matic tapes. Constant maintenance is required to keep our aging video tape recorders working smoothly. Audio content is migrated to the Broadcast WAV file format for preservation, and MP3 files are made for access purposes. Some of the audio formats that have been prioritized for digitization include; cassettes; reel-to-reel tapes; and acetate discs. Preserving our audio and moving image heritage is an enormous task. Migrating these fragile recordings to digital file format… is the cornerstone of Library and Archives Canada’s preservation and access strategy for this material. The benefit of this strategy will be unprecedented access to the material, from anywhere, for students, researchers, and the general public, now and into the future.

Contents

History

The pilot project began in 2002 to test the feasibility of digitizing cylinder recordings on a large scale for preservation and public access and explore issues related to the preservation and digitization of cylinder records. In 2003, the Institute for Museum and Library Services funded the Archive with a grant for $205,000 and between 2003 and 2005 UCSB library staff cataloged and digitized over 6,000 of the cylinder recordings in the library's collection using an archéophone, a modern electrical cylinder player designed in France by Henri Chamoux. The website was released to the public on November 16, 2005. Since outside project funding has ended a further 4,000 cylinders have been added to the archive.

Scope

The Archive consists of a broad range of cylinder records manufactured between 1893 and the mid-1920s. The majority were produced by Edison Records in Orange, New Jersey, but the Archive also contains cylinders produced by the Columbia Phonograph Co., Indestructible Records and other companies. The majority of the cylinders feature music and include band recordings, popular songs, vaudeville, opera arias, and music for solo instruments such as banjo, violin and accordion, but the Archive also contains speeches, comedic monologues and home recordings.

The Archive currently holds only the cylinders in the collection of the UCSB Libraries. Other libraries, including the Library of Congress and Bowling Green State University, have contributed cylinders for preservation and digitization, as have private collectors. The Archive accepts donations of cylinders but at present does not add digital files of cylinders from other collections, the one exception being cylinders in the collection of John Levin.

See also

External links

This page was last edited on 2 November 2017, at 20:45
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