AES Historical Committee Report 2000-09-19

AES Historical Committee

Project Report, 2000-09-19

for the Board of Governors, 2000-09-26

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

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

A "Historical Cafe" has been proposed by Alex Balster and Cor Doesburg for the 2001 Convention in Amsterdam, and they have proposed a budget of  8000 $ for this event. The ExCom and the Historical Committee will be reviewing this proposal.

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.]

An Ampex Model 200A tape recorder had been stored in HQ's conference room. AESHC members determined its owners, packed the recorder for safe transit, and returned it to them.

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.]

The AES itself had a large library of technical journals and books that had been donated to the Society, and had been housed at the Society headquarters in New York.

Irv Joel reports: "I am pleased to announce that after 6 months, and many hours of work, the 3,767 journals, books and magazines have been inventoried and carefully placed in 194 file boxes and shipped to The Library of Congress.  It is our understanding that the entire collection will be preserved and used as the backbone for a research library which will be part of a new facility dealing with sound recording.

"The bulk of this collection was donated to AES by Emil Torick who saved it from the Dumpster after CBS Laboratories in Stamford closed.

"My sincere thanks to the AES staff for their help and particularly to Wanda Hernandez who did all of the data base entry work. I was very fortunate to have an extremely dedicated volunteer group who gave many hours of their time inventorying and boxing the collection.

"Thanks to: Jim Anderson, David Baker, Louis Coulborn, Sid Feldman, Louis Manno, and Robert van der Hilst"

5 [Create a "History of the AES" subcommittee, to organize and maintain an archive relating to the history of the Audio Engineering Society itself, ...]

The Japanese Chapter of the AES has written a "History of the AES Japan Chapter", and has requested funds ( 5000 $) to translate this into English. We will be discussing this request.

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.]

AESHC members Paul McManus, Irv Joel and others have organized a display of recording studio equipment from the 1960s, to display at the 2000  LA convention. This effort is currently is being presented as the exhibit "When Vinyl Ruled", complete with tape recordings and the engineers who recorded them, from the 1960s..

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; 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; thanks to David Josephson and Howard Sanner. Please go see our website  at . It is also on the main menu of the AES website, for which we thank Roger Furness.

11 [Create a directory of museums, libraries, archives, and private collections that contain historic audio equipment or documents about the history of audio engineering.]

Some 150 such links are now on the HC website. Links have been updated to point to the organizations' history pages, as per Roger Furness's suggestion; added link to the Studer List home page.

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. He reports: "We have tried to prepare an ACCESS data base for gathering the non-standard data. In LA we will present parts of it. I think that we should have some discussions about data structures then." This will be demonstrated at the Historical Committee's meeting on Sunday.

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 HC web page now has a link to the description of the oral history project, which in turn has links to the list of completed interviews, the list of recommended interviewees, and the interviews and talks which are available on-line.

Irv Joel has done a number of videotaped oral-history interviews at the 107th Convention in 1999-09, and is continuing that work. Irv reports that to date, we have completed 24 video recorded interviews, and we plan to have 3 interviews edited to be shown on a rotating basis in the AESHC room during the convention.. We will also record 16 to 20 interviews during the 109th convention in L.A. (John Eargle and John Woodgate have agreed to help with this effort which is formidable but possible), as well as doing recordings in the San Francisco Bay area after this Convention.

14 [Collect, write, publish, and otherwise disseminate accurate historical information about the field of audio engineering.]

The AES is publishing the memoirs of magnetic recording pioneer SJ Begun. Jay McKnight is working with Pat Macdonald, Mark Clark and Ruth Begun on this project. It should be available about 2000 November.

Del Eilers and Bill Lund, of ex-3M Magnetic Tape, are providing us with historical data on 3M tapes, and we are placing this on the HC website. Thus far the canonical list of 3M audio tape types and a 3M document on print through are there, and many, many more documents will be available eventually.

Jay McKnight,
Chair, AES Historical Committee

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