New York Times: Wanted: A Home for Three Million Records. “Housed in a nondescript building in TriBeCa is the Archive of Contemporary Music, a nonprofit founded in 1985. It is one of the world’s largest collections of popular music, with more than three million recordings, as well as music books, vintage memorabilia and press kits. For point of comparison, the Library of Congress estimates that it also holds nearly three million sound recordings…. Rent in the neighborhood has continued to rise, challenging the organization to stay on budget, said Bob George, the founder and director of the archive. Recently, Mr. George reached an agreement with his landlord to get out of his lease early. He has until June to find another space.”
Texas State Library and Archives Commission: From “Unplayable” to Searchable Online: the House Recordings Recovery Project. “In 2007, Texas House of Representatives’ Media Services transferred to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) about 350 reels of audiotape. Most of the recordings dated between 1975 and 1984 and covered the House floor debates from the entire 63rd through 68th Legislative sessions. Many House committee recordings were included as well. At the time the tapes were transferred to TSLAC, the majority of the reels were described by House media staff as ‘unplayable.’ Having been marked as damaged and unplayable, the audiotapes were stored in TSLAC’s climate-controlled stacks awaiting deaccessioning.” A new resource and a discussion about restoring endangered media!
Internet Archive: How the Internet Archive is Digitizing LPs to Preserve Generations of Audio. “Since all of the information on an LP is printed, the digitization process must begin by cataloging data. High-resolution scans are taken of the cover art, the disc itself and any inserts or accompanying materials. The record label, year recorded, track list and other metadata are supplemented and cross-checked against various external databases.”
Indiana University: Stories etched in wax: Preservation project saves sounds of the past. “Indiana University’s Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative met a major milestone this summer by completing its wax cylinder digitization project.”
Daily Times (Pakistan): At vast New York warehouse, preserving records in the digital age. “The turntable needle drops and the reverbs of the obscure band The Motifs ring out, bouncing off mountains of records lining the musty warehouse housing America’s largest pop music collection. The cavernous independent private music library, known as the ARChive of Contemporary Music, on a non-descript street in lower Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood claims more than three million recordings — mostly vinyl and some CDS and cassettes, not to mention a vast collection of memorabilia.”
ReviewGeek: Everything You Need to Convert Your Cassette Tapes to Digital. “Like all analog formats, cassette tapes decay over time. In fact, it’s likely yours have already lost some fidelity. If you want to save those old mixtapes and home recordings, it’s best to digitize them right away. Thankfully, this is an easy process. You don’t have to be a computer whiz or an audiophile to follow this simple guide. And you shouldn’t have to spend any more than $25 on this project (it’ll probably cost even less).”
EGM: The Uncertain Future of Video Game History. “In April 2015, P.T. became the most high-profile casualty of digital distribution in recent memory. Released in August 2014 as a PlayStation 4 exclusive ‘playable teaser’ for Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro’s Silent Hills, P.T. became a phenomenon in its own right. Critics showered the brief horror experience with accolades, and YouTubers churned out hundreds of reaction videos. Then, in the wake of a highly public falling out between Kojima and Konami, the publisher cancelled Silent Hills and eventually removed P.T. from the PlayStation Store. Players who didn’t already have a copy downloaded to their consoles lost access to the title forever.” Fascinating deep dive.