For decades the collection has remained in its current state—in storage, uncataloged, and inaccessible to the public. The Boston Public Library, which has collaborated with the Internet Archive since 2007, will produce a number of versions from remastered until raw. The library's decision to digitize its sound library fits perfectly into The Great 78 Project, the Internet Archive's initiative to digitize all 3 million minted sides—recordings of about 3 minutes—from 78 rpm discs from about 1898 to the 1950s.
“The simple fact of the matter is most audiovisual recordings will be lost,” says George Blood, an internationally renowned expert on audio preservation. “These 78s are disappearing right and left. It is important that we do a good job preserving what we can get to, because there won't be a second chance.”