AES Historical Committee Report 2000-02-10

AES Historical Committee

Project Report, 2000-02-10

The following report was submitted to the AES Executive Committee and the Board of Governors:

The Historical Committee has been working on "Guidelines" for the Committee's operation for the last year and a half. The ExComm has asked for a simplified "Operating Structure" which we submitted on 2000 Jan 13, with an amendment Jan 26. We request that the ExComm and Governors approve the amended "Operating Structure". [This was approved. jm]

We invite you to visit the AESHC website where you will find:

  • The AESHC Meeting notice;
  • Documents (Audio History Timeline, Index to Obituaries Appearing in the AES Journal);
  • Historical Interviews and Talks;
  • Links to Other Historical Sites;
  • Guidelines: What the AESHC Is, and What We Plan to Do;
  • Project Reports: What the AESHC Has Done, and What We Are Working On;
  • Minutes of AES Historical Committee Meetings; and
  • AES Historical Committee Officers.
The AESHC projects according to the "Guidelines", and their status, is given below.

1 [Unite persons interested in the history of audio engineering and its allied fields.]
    Our general charge.

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.]
    No current activity.

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 them.]
    No current activity.

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.]
    A number of AESHC members are Standards Committee members.

5 [Create a "History of the AES" subcommittee, to organize and maintain an archive relating to the history of the Audio Engineering Society itself, as outlined in the Appendix. The AESHC shall not create any other archive, nor any museum or library of its own.]
    The AES has an unintentional library of considerable size, and AESHC members are working on that: see 6 below. That "library" must be dealt with before the "History of the AES" materials can be organized.

6 [Cooperate with existing libraries, archives, and museums; and with other professional organizations with related interests (e.g., ARSC, IASA, IEEE, SMPTE, VDT, inter alia).]
    The AES itself has a large library of technical journals and books that have been donated to the Society, that has "just growed". This library is housed at the Society headquarters in New York, and it is overflowing everywhere, forcing the headquarters staff out of house and home. A group under the leadership of Irv Joel has cataloged the holdings, and boxed everything so that it can be removed from the HQ office. We believe that the best disposition for the (non-AES) Journals and books is to donate them to the Library of Congress. We are working on the details, and will submit them to the Executive Director for approval.

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.]
    No current activity.

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.]
    No current activity.

9 [Create and operate two AESHC 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.]
    Done, at no expense to the AES; thanks to David Josephson and Howard Sanner.

10 [Create an AESHC web site and an FTP site on which to publish the information compiled in the following sections.]
    Done, at no expense to the AES; thanks to David Josephson and Howard Sanner.

11 [Create a directory of museums, libraries, archives, and private collections that contain historic audio equipment or documents about the history of audio engineering.]
    No current activity.

12 [Devise a catalog for classifying the inventions and developments made in audio engineering, based on the work of HK Thiele.]
    HK Thiele's documents have gone to the TU Berlin, where Prof. Manfred Krause and his students are organizing them.

13 [Record oral histories (sound only, sound with video, and/or sound with still photographs) of important figures in the history of audio engineering.]
    Irv Joel has done a number of videotaped oral-history interviews at the 107th Convention in 1999-09, and is continuing that work. A project to sponsor a book "My Years With Magnetic Recording", by SJ Begun, (at little or no cost to the AES) is in the planning stage. We are also obtaining an interview of Marvin Camras done by Mark Clark in 1991, and placing it on the AESHC ftp site.

14 [Collect, write, publish, and otherwise disseminate accurate historical information about the field of audio engineering.]
    Irv Joel, Jerry Bruck, and Al Grundy have compiled an "Audio Timeline". J McKnight has prepared an Index of the obituaries that have been published in the AES Journal; that index was published in the 1999 December Journal. Howard Sanner has prepared a list of links to other websites that are concerned with the history of audio engineering and related subjects. All three of these are now on the AESHC Website.

15 [Translate into English and publish important historical books and articles with the original and the English-language text on facing pages. The AESHC shall choose items to be translated.]
    No current activity.

Jay McKnight,
Chair, AESHC

posted 2000-07-21

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