The AS-07 development project is led by the Library of Congress and other members of FADGI in collaboration with community and commercial collaborators. While AS-07 is vendor neutral by design, at various times throughout the development of the specification, the FADGI team heard from outside experts in broadcasting and other parts of the professional video industry. Under both the AMWA and FADGI auspices, there was active participation from several external commercial entities. From the beginning of the project, long-time FADGI consultant AVPreseve (through audiovisual standards expert and founder and president Chris Lacinak) served as the principle investigator and data wrangler. George Blood of George Blood LP, a Philadelphia-based provider of services to memory institutions archives, was a strong early contributing member of the AS-07 working team while MetaGlue (US and UK-based developer of specialized applications for broadcasters, and home base for MXF standards expert Oliver Morgan) and EVS (Belgian-French provider of production and archiving systems for broadcasters, and home base for MXF standards expert Valérie Popie) were engaged as paid expert advisors. In addition, Cube-Tec (German provider of production and archiving systems, home base for SMPTE standards expert Jörg Houpert) contributed to the project as an expert reviewer of the specification language and sample files because they saw value in a process that would establish an open, public specification. The collaboration with industry is essential to the continued adoption and success of AS-07 because it’s the tools and workflows that make AS-07 compliance and integration possible.
Once-popular phonograph records are gradually spinning into oblivion, but the Boston Public Library is making an attempt to preserve them before the music stops.
The library announced Wednesday it was launching a project to transfer recordings — scratches and all — from its Sound Archives Collection to the Internet Archive, which will digitize the recordings and post them.
The library’s collection includes popular American music in a variety of formats, including 78 rpm records that go back a century. The musical genres include classical music, pop, rock, and jazz.
Once the library’s recordings are posted to the Internet Archive, any member of the public will be able to access them for free online, where rights allow, the library said in a statement.
“Boston Public Library is once again leading in providing public access to their holdings. Their Sound Archive includes hillbilly music, early brass bands and accordion recordings from the turn of the last century, offering an authentic audio portrait of how America sounded a century ago,” said Brewster Kahle, Founder and Digital Librarian of the Internet Archive. “Every time I walk through BPL’s doors, I’m inspired to read what is carved above it: ‘Free to All.’”
The 78 rpm records from the BPL’s Sound Archives Collection fit into the Internet Archive’s larger initiative called The Great 78 Project. This community effort seeks to digitize all 3 million minted sides (~3 minute recordings) published on 78 rpm discs from about 1898 to the 1950s, supporting the preservation, research and discovery of 78 rpm records. While commercially viable recordings will have been restored or remastered onto LP’s or CD, significant research value exists in the remaining artifacts among the often rare 78rpm discs and recordings. To date, over 20 collections have been selected by the Internet Archive for physical and digital preservation and access. Started by many volunteer collectors, these new collections have been selected, digitized, and preserved by the Internet Archive, George Blood LP, and the Archive of Contemporary Music.
“Close your eyes and listen,” Rossi asked the audience. And then, out of the speakers floated the scratchy sounds of Billy Murray singing “Low Bridge, Everybody Down” written by Thomas S. Allen. From 1898 to the 1950s, some three million recordings of about three minutes each were made on 78rpm discs. But these discs are now brittle, the music stored on them precious. The Internet Archive is working with partners on the Great 78 Project to store these recordings digitally, so that we and future generations can enjoy them and reflect on our music history. New collections include the Tina Argumedo and Lucrecia Hug 78rpm Collection of dance music collected in Argentina in the mid-1930s.
The Boston Public Library has thousands of vinyl records – about 200,000, to be exact.
Until recently, the records from the BPL’s Sound Archives Collections were sitting in the library basement, collecting dust rather than being listened to. But soon that’s all going to change.
The BPL is transferring the records from its sound collection to longtime partner the Internet Archive, a nonprofit digital library, so they can be cataloged and digitized for public access.
“This brings collections that we have had, makes them accessible to the public but also will preserve the original materials as well,” says David Leonard, the BPL’s president.
We live in a Utopian listening era in which music streaming services offer more than 30 million songs, and everything ever recorded can be accessed with the click of a touchscreen.
Well, maybe not everything.
For instance, until audio engineer Liz Rosenberg took a fragile 78 rpm shellac disc of the University of Pennsylvania’s Mask and Wig Club’s “We’ll Paddle Our Canoe” released in 1927 into her nitrile-gloved hands and placed it on a crazy-looking four-armed turntable at George Blood Audio in Chestnut Hill on a recent afternoon, a digital version of the performance did not exist.
But now it does.
THE INTERNET ARCHIVE, which has been quietly caching web pages for the past two decades, also has a few more strings to its bow.
Previously, we've told you about classic video games now playable in-browser as a result of archiving by the team. But the latest release goes back a little further.
The Archive has released 25,000 (count 'em!) digital versions of 78RPM records that were otherwise virtually unplayable and certainly otherwise unavailable.
New York’s ARChive of Contemporary Music (ARC) has been preserving audiovisual materials since 1985, and a little over a year ago, it partnered with the Internet Archive to bring its Great 78 Project to the public. Along with audiovisual digitization vendor George Blood L.P. and additional volunteers, the Great 78 Project to date has put over 50,000 digitized 78rpm discs and cylinder recordings on the Internet Archive, which can be listened to in all their crackling glory.
An ongoing project, the Internet Archive actually has over 200,000 donated physical recordings, most of which are from the 1950s and earlier. These early recordings were made from shellac, not the resin that records are made with today. A brittle material, shellac became outmoded around 1960 as it often creates unusual levels of surface noise and can quite literally break apart in your hands if not handled appropriately. Without digitization, it’s possible some of these recordings would eventually crumble and be lost to history forever.
In a little storefront building on Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia's Chestnut Hill neighborhood, George Blood Audio LP, an audio preservation company, has been quietly preserving America's musical heritage, one 78 at a time.
78 is an old format that spun at 78 rotations per minute, with grooves cut into brittle shellac. Many companies manufactured them — one of the largest was Victor Records of Camden, New Jersey — but between them there was no industry standard.