AES Historical Committee Report 2005-05-09

AES Historical Committee Preliminary Report
for the Board of Governors Meeting at the
118th Convention, Barcelona, 2005-06-01

The Historical Committee will hold an open meeting during this Convention, at an as-yet-undetermined time, to be chaired by HC Vice Chair Irv Joel, who will attend the Governors' meeting to answer any questions you may have about the HC activities. You are all welcome to attend the Historical Committee meeting. We will discuss the activities reported below.

The presently active AES Historical Committee projects [as numbered in our Guidelines] are as follows:

4 [Collaborate with the AES Standards Committee, SC-03 Subcommittee on the Preservation and Restoration of Audio Recording, and other AES committees and subcommittees, as appropriate.]

  • Because we get inquiries from field users about how to preserve their audio records, and because no other AES group is set up to answer these questions, we have compiled references to papers and persons who do preservation of audio records, and organizations willing to answer questions, and posted them on the HC website at "Practical Audio Preservation" .

5 [Organize and maintain an archive relating to the history of the Audio Engineering Society itself.]

  • Project leader Roger Furness had said that he would be able to devote time to organizing and cataloging the history of the AES itself. It has not happened yet.

8 [Encourage each Local Section and each Convention Committee to organize an appropriate session on the history of audio  engineering, or a display on an appropriate historical subject. When requested, provide information to help them to do so.]

  • There is no plan for a Historical Exhibit at the 118th Convention in Barcelona, 2005-05. There will, however, be at least one historical paper, on the Thiele-Krause Online Archive (see 12, below).
  • Planning for a Historical Exhibit at the 119th Convention in New York, 2005-10, has begun.
9 [Create and operate two AES HC email reflectors: a Steering Committee Reflector for discussions of purely administrative matters of the Committee; and a general Historical Reflector for discussions of actual historical matters.]
  • Join our reflector. The email reflector continues on the "" 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 . We have  added many new links, and the items in 14 (below).
11 [Create a directory of museums, libraries, archives, and private collections that contain historic audio equipment or documents about the history of audio engineering.]
  • The project leader,  Myles Cochran Davis, has reviewed and annotated the links on our website, which may be seen here. He will be contacting the museums in order to establish better coordination with the AES HC.
12  [Devise a catalog for classifying the inventions and developments made in audio engineering, based on the work of HK Thiele.]
13 [Record oral histories (sound only, sound with video, and/or sound with still photographs) of important figures in the  history of audio engineering.]
  • The project continues with more new interviews. A complete list of interviews completed, and their dates, and interviews proposed,  is now available. We have now begun editing some of the interviews into a form that we can make available. We are also transcribing a few of the interviews.  But our emphasis is still on recording new interviews.
  • Irv Joel plans to record more interviews during this Convention. We continue to solicit your suggestions both for interviewers and for further interviewees, especially for countries outside of the US.
14  [Collect, write, publish, and otherwise disseminate accurate historical information about the field of audio engineering.]
  • At the HC meeting in San Francisco in 2004-10, George Brock-Nannestad presented a preliminary plan for a project on Audio Patents, to improve access to patent information regarding early audio. He has recently updated that plan, and it is posted here for your information and comment.
  • The project for an Ampex History, with Larry Miller as the project leader, continues. It will be based on Oral History interviews with 16 Ampex engineers and managers. The raw video tapes have been run off onto DVDs, and several sets distributed to early Ampex employees to use as a memory refresher. John Leslie, an Ampex Engineering Manager in the 1950s, has written a draft "History of  Early Ampex". This is being circulated for comments, corrections, and additions.
  • Larry Miller is editing the video tapes of the presentations at the 117th (SF) convention , so that we can eventually make them available for viewing.
  • We are working with AES Webmaster Steve Johnson to add to the "Journal Article Search" the ability to search by author's affiliation. So you will be able to search for all Journal articles and Convention Papers (Preprints) by authors affiliated with, for instance, Bell Telephone Laboratories. The data entry for the 10,500 entries is almost complete (10,000 done so far).
       New items now on our website  include the following:

Jay McKnight, Chair
AES Historical Committee

Draft report written on  2005-05-03,  Revised --04, --06, --09

AES - Audio Engineering Society