the 121st Convention, San
The Historical Committee will hold an open meeting during this
Convention on 2006-10-07 (Saturday) at 09...11
hours, in Room 228. The meeting will be chaired by Historical
Jay McKnight. You are all welcome to attend the Historical Committee
meeting. We will discuss the activities reported below, and anything
else you wish to bring up. The list below
includes all of the Historical Committee Projects [as numbered in our
Guidelines], so you can see everything that we might be doing.
I have referenced many reports that are on our website, and given
direct links, as well as the text URLs for anyone reading off-line.
Please read these reports.
This will be my last Historical Committee Report to you, since I am
resigning this position as of this Convention. My thanks to all of the Project Leaders and
their committee members for their hard work on these projects over the
last 7 years. You can see many of the results on our web page at
Our Guidelines say that the AES HC shall:
persons interested in the
history of audio engineering and its allied fields. General goal, in accordance with the AES Charter.
2 Serve as a link between recording
studios, radio stations, manufacturers, and others who wish to discard
old equipment; and museums,
libraries, archives, and private
collectors who wish to preserve
it. and 3 Serve as a link between recording
studios, radio stations, manufacturers, and others who wish to discard
documents relating to the
history of audio engineering; and
museums, libraries, archives, and
private collectors who wish to preserve
Myles Davis has this
http://www.aes.org/aeshc/aeshc.links_and_museum_coordination.html ) .We
find very few, if any, places who "wish to [accept and] preserve
historical pro-audio equipment and literature." We have sent
out his "Request
for Information" to the HC and to the "Ampex Mailing List",
soliciting information about audio museums. Please re-send it to anyone
that you know that might be able to help us. All ideas
4 Collaborate with the AES Standards
Committee, SC-03 Subcommittee on the Preservation and
Audio Recording, and other AES committees and subcommittees, as appropriate.
We recently posted a scan of the original paper, A New Standard
Volume Indicator and Reference Level,
by Chinn, Gannett, and Morris. The classic 1940 IRE paper on the
development of the "vu meter". Includes the history of volume
indicators, the engineering factors in designing the meter, and the
text of the original standard.
5 Organize and maintain an archive
relating to the history of the Audio
Engineering Society itself. The
AES HC shall not create any other archive, nor any museum or library of its own.
This is Roger Furness' project. Irv Joel has sent a proposal
for cataloging and indexing the papers that have been moved from AES HQ
to a storage warehouse. With Roger's permission, we shall do this right
after this (SF) Convention.
with existing libraries,
archives, and museums; and with other professional organizations with
related interests [e.g., Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC), International
Association of Sound Archives (IASA), Institute of Electrical and
Electronic Engineers (IEEE), Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), Verein
Deutscher Tonmeister (VDT)].
7 Contact important figures in the
history of audio engineering and encourage them to donate historical
papers to existing museums, archives, or libraries to ensure their long-term preservation.
Nothing active, because we can't find places to accept the material.
All ideas gladly accepted.
8 Organize appropriate sessions on
the history of audio engineering, or a display on an appropriate
historical subject, at Conventions, in cooperation with Convention
Committees; and at Local Section meetings, in cooperation with Local
Bill Wray has organized seven historical talks for this Convention.
are now posted here
for you to see. Our special thanks to Bill and his committee for
putting together this fine package of talks. Please come and see them!
Irv Joel is starting to think about talks &c for 2007 New York --
ideas gladly accepted..
9 Create and operate two AES HC email
reflectors: a Steering Committee Reflector for discussions of
administrative matters of the Committee; and a general Historical
Reflector for discussions of actual historical matters.
Ongoing, here at
at http://www.aes.org/aeshc/aeshc.internet.communications.html .Join
reflector. The email reflector continues on the "recordist.com" server,
with thanks to David Josephson.
10 Create an AES HC web site on which
to publish the information compiled in the following sections.
We continue to upgrade and add to our website . Latest additions can be
found at "What's New
on this website"
11 Create a directory of museums,
libraries, archives, and private collections that contain historic
audio equipment or documents about the history of audio engineering.
12 Devise a catalog for classifying
the inventions and developments made in audio engineering, based on the work of HK
Ongoing at http://www.thiele-krause-archive.de/ . In 2006-05, Cornelius
Bradter wrote: "Unfortunately the Thiele-Krause Archive is currently
offline." That situation continues, and I have been unable to reach him
to get a status report on this project.
13 Record oral histories (sound only,
sound with video, and/or sound with still photographs) of important figures in the
history of audio engineering.
From Project Leader Irv Joel: We have so far recorded some 117 Oral
Histories, as listed
. These are video + sound recordings on some 150 original Hi8 digital
video cassette tapes, now stored at John Chester's office in High
Bridge, New Jersey.
Our major concern at this time is the lack of backup copies and an
appropriate storage place.
The original tapes should be in secure climate-controlled storage. A
related question is where to store the working copies. John Chester is
now making one backup copy of each tape onto mini-DV video cassettes.
We believe that it would be useful to also make DVD copies of the
original interviews, and we will pursue this.
About half of the master tapes have been copied so far, and we expect
all to be done by 2007-06. We are still looking for an appropriate
storage place for the backup set.
Altho we have been trying to get these interviews edited for release to
the public, we have had difficulty finding volunteer editors, and only
2 have been edited so far.
There are lots of other AES tapes which were not created by the Oral
History Project. For example, John also has 135 other Hi8 cassettes
which are various convention events, "When Vinyl Ruled" presentations,
etc. He does not have a detailed inventory of these tapes yet. And
there are AES tapes elsewhere, including probably in the boxes put into
storage by AES HQ, which we plan to inventory Real Soon Now. John won't
have time in the near future to back up any of these additional tapes
-- perhaps they should just be inventoried and put into archival
There are more details in the report here,
14 Collect, write, publish, and
otherwise disseminate accurate historical information about the field
of audio engineering.
Ongoing at http://www.aes.org/aeshc/index.html , linked here. We need to
reorganize that page to make things more easily found. I had someone
working on it, but he has resigned, and asks that we find someone else.
We have many links to other historical sites. Myles Davis continues to
add new links to our link
George Brock-Nannestad is working on a project to make patents on audio
devices more accessible. His report is here.
Jay McKnight has been working with AES Journal Managing Editor Bill
McQuaid on two projects:
The first is to carry the AES Journal back to its beginning in "Audio Engineering" magazine during
the years 1948...1952. This includes the original "Letters to the
Editor" about forming an Audio Engineering Society, plus a number of
technical papers. We will publish all of this on the HC website. Our
thanks to Dave Dintenfass and Dylan Constan-Wahl for providing
The second is to make the "back" of the AES Journal available online.
Altho the Electronic Library has only the technical papers, the
original Mira scan included the entire
Journal, cover to cover. This includes AES committee lists, convention
reports, sections and members information, advertisements, patent
reviews, etc. We will
also publish this on the HC website.