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Archives, sound recording and moving imagelocked

  • John Vallier

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Repositories for the permanent retention, preservation, and access of sound recordings (e.g., CDs, LPs, audio cassettes, cylinders, digital audio files) and moving image media (e.g., motion-picture film, kinescope, videotape, digital video files); often included along side of these collections are the mechanical playback devices for such media. The history of archives of this kind in the United States reveals trends towards the amalgamation of sound and moving image materials into single units based either on format (e.g., Library of Congress’ Motion Picture Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division) or academic discipline (UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive). Traditionally the distinction between a library and an archive is essentially one of purpose and a material’s publication status: whereas libraries collect published materials for use by general patrons within and outside the library, archives generally accession and preserve unpublished materials, allowing restricted access for research purposes. However, with the development of the Internet, digitization technologies, and online modes of distribution, the distinction between library and archive hosted sound recording and moving image collections has become more fluid with both kinds of institutions posting published and unpublished audio and video files online with varying degrees of accessibility. Parallel advances in preservation technologies have also enabled archivists to digitize analog sound recordings and moving image recordings that is thought to ensure long-term, if not permanent, access to the content housed on the original analog carriers....

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