Library and Information Services, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Rhinos become Extinct. What happens to Old Format Audio, though?

What do white rhinos and vinyl records have in common?

The British Library has an initiative to gather information about the UK's recorded heritage
Wikipedia image of white rhino
before the formats become unplayable. Here's the news, as shared with us by IAML, the International Association of Music Libraries:-

Last week, the British Library announced a startling fact that probably rings true for many people who work with sound recordings:

“Professional consensus is that we have approximately 15 years in which to save the UK’s sound collections before they become unplayable and are effectively lost. The solution is to digitally preserve them, but the scale of the task required is considerable and time is running out.”

The British Library has launched the Save our Sounds program to address this issue. You can read more about it on the British Library’s Sound and Vision blog (link is external).

A few days later, the British Library announced an initiative to “collect information about our recorded heritage, to create a Directory of UK Sound Collections.” For more information and to participate in this census, click here (link is external). The census will be open until the end of March.
If you know of an organisation which has lots of old recordings - an opera company, maybe, or a specialist archive - do them a kindness and share this with them!  Otherwise it won't just be white rhinos that are becoming extinct!

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