BBC: Historic Kinora ‘flipbook footage’ of Wick saved for the future. “The National Library of Scotland spent years digitising the footage, which shows the hustle and bustle of the fishing industry in the Highland coastal town of Wick. The reels, some of which are up to 120 years old, were originally played on a device called a Kinora viewer. A reel of images printed on card was revolved in the viewer, creating an illusion similar to a flip-book animation.” The video is freely available to view online.
Reddit: Italian newspaper’s online archive is going to get lost because Flash won’t be supported anymore. “Italian newspaper’s online archive is going to get lost because Flash won’t be supported anymore – edit: might get lost, they are actually working on it but my hopes aren’t too high.” I am linking to Reddit instead of the original article because a) the original is in Italian; b) I liked the Reddit discussion.
The Register: Master boot vinyl record: It just gives DOS on my IBM PC a warmer, more authentic tone. “While booting an operating system nowadays usually sees the software loaded from disk or flash memory, some of us of a certain age recall the delights of shovelling bytes in memory via the medium of tape, such as an audio cassette sending noise into the RAM of a home computer. Tinkerer Jozef Bogin has taken things a little further by booting an elderly IBM PC from a record player.”
Internet Archive: Flash Animations Live Forever at the Internet Archive. “Great news for everyone concerned about the Flash end of life planned for end of 2020: The Internet Archive is now emulating Flash animations, games and toys in our software collection.”
The Chattanoogan: “Hey Earl” Radio Programs Donated To Be Digitized. “Earl (Hey Earl) Freudenberg has donated over 500 audio cassette tapes of his popular ‘Hey Earl’ radio program on WDOD to Picnooga/Chattanooga Historical Society. Mr. Freudenberg’s radio presence in the Chattanooga area has spanned nearly 55 years, and his work started at WDOD in 1965. The shows he personally recorded are from the mid-1980s through the early 2000s and include many interviews of local and regional personalities.”
Toronto Sun: Online petition calls for Blockbuster museum in Ontario. “Is it time to rewind and turn an abandoned Blockbuster store into a museum? Scoff all you want, but an online petition that began this summer is asking for it to actually happen in Ontario for the former video rental business.”
Texas State Library and Archives Commission: How to Convert Your Home Movie Tapes to Digital. “There are several approaches to digitizing your videos. One is to send them out to a service and let the professionals do all the work. This service is provided by companies ranging from small internet startups to well-known large corporations. If you are among the many who could never program the VCR’s clock, then this might be your best option. But, if you like to tinker and happen to have an old VCR to dust off, or know family or friends who do, you might be able to do this yourself. Here are three different options to try depending on what type of media and equipment you have available.” Also gets into VHS tape degradation and possible ways of handling it (like “baking”.)
Irish Examiner: €3m RTÉ spend on mammoth digitisation of archive footage. “RTÉ is set to spend more than €3m on the digitalisation of hundreds of thousands of video and audio recordings dating back to 1950 ‘as a matter of some urgency’. The public broadcaster has put out an invitation to tender for the mammoth task, which will be completed over the course of four years at an indicated cost of €3,225,000.” That’s about $3.7 million USD.
UGA Today: UGA Libraries celebrates 25 years of Brown Media Archive with virtual event series. “The Brown Media Archives preserve more than 250,000 titles in film, audiotape and other recording formats, including home movies and news film, spanning the past 100 years. Located in the Richard B. Russell Building Special Collections Libraries along with two other special collections units, Brown’s faculty and staff also are tasked with the preservation and access to the collection of entries to the Peabody Awards, the oldest and most prestigious electronic media award in the United States, which is administered by UGA’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.”
Binghamton Journal: Binghamton Philharmonic turns lost audio tapes in new archive honoring its founder. “The Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra is turning the discovery of some lost audio tapes into a new archive honoring its founder. BPO has created the Fritz Wallenberg Archive with more than 150 reel-to-reel audio recordings of the Community Symphony Society which Wallenberg founded and which would eventually become the Philharmonic.” The organization is trying to get donors to cover the cost of digitizing.
State Archives of North Carolina: CLIR Recordings-at-Risk Grant to Digitize Senate Audio, 1993-2005. “In May 2020, the State Archives of North Carolina received a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Recordings-at-Risk grant, made possible by funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.* The project, titled Preserving and Providing Access to Legislative History: Senate Audio Digitization, will digitize 64 Dictaphone Veritrac tapes in the North Carolina Senate Daily Legislative Session Audio Recordings (SR.66.25) series. These tapes date from 1993 to 2005.”
Spotted via Reddit and new-to-me: the Instagram account Sudan Tapes Archive. From the Instagram page: “a small archive of digitized sudanese cassette tapes. all download links are available via soundcloud!”
The Star: M’sian music fan deejays with wind-up gramophone, playing century-old recordings. “[Caleb] Goh has a ‘very small’ collection of over 500 shellac records, comprising mostly swing music from the 1920s. He notes that unlike vinyl, shellac records only hold two songs each (one song per side) so you need a sizeable collection to not end up having to listen to the same songs again and again. The oldest one in his possession is an American recording from 1898, but the one he considers the rarest and most interesting is a Gaisberg recording of a Japanese song from 1903.”
The Young Witness (Australia): ‘There’s no way we can save it all’: National Archives says audio-visual records will be lost. “The National Archives of Australia is preparing to lose large sections of its 117,000 hours of magnetic tape archives, including a prioritisation process to ensure archives relating to Indigenous languages and culture aren’t lost. Archivists across the world agree that audio visual archives held on magnetic tape will be lost forever if they are not digitised by 2025, a deadline that institutions like the National Archives and National Film and Sound Archive are battling to meet.”
The Verge: The Internet Archive’s VHS Vault will send you on a 90s nostalgia trip. “The Internet Archive, perhaps best known for the extremely handy Wayback Machine you can use to find older versions of webpages, also has free movies, books, software, and music. Yet a little known part of the organization’s media trove includes uploaded recordings from VHS tapes, as I learned today thanks to this Vice article. They live on The VHS Vault, and as of this writing, there are more than 20,000 recordings you can peruse.”