Comments by jm on the AESHC Minutes 110th 2001-05-13

At the 110th AES Convention, 2001-05-13, in Amsterdam, several questions were asked by Chair pro tem Alex Balster. Here are my replies. I solicit comments from the general membership.

Jay McKnight, Chair
AES Historical Committee

Comments by J McKnight, HC Chair, on the

 Minutes of the AES Historical Committee Meeting

at the 110th AES Convention, 2001-05-13, in Amsterdam


2  Relevant Correspondence; messages from the HQ
 Chair pro tem Balster indicated that communication between the AESHC and its European members was not working as well as could be hoped.  He asked how the stream of information between the AESHC and its European and North American members could be improved.  Members agreed that there is a problem in this area.

I would welcome specific examples of problems, and suggestions for improvements. My name and email address are near the top of our HC web page (, and I try to reply promptly to email addressed to me. The names and email addresses of the HC Officers and Project Leaders are at  ( , if someone wants to contact them directly.  jm

It was agreed that a request be made for clear explanations about what is on the web site and the email reflector. And clear instructions be available telling members how these resources can be used.

We have tried to make the web site self-explanatory, and we'd appreciate specific suggestions on how to improve it. I assume that you have spent some time browsing the website. If you can tell me where it is unclear, we will try to make improvements. jm

How to use the e-mail reflector is in the link on the home page under "contribute to our E-mail Reflector"  and again under "Communications", Join the AESHC E-mail Reflector (both link to jm

The e-mail reflector is intended for general communication among HC members, so that members may share their knowledge of audio history. I'm adding some text to this "listjoin" file, and comments are welcome. jm

 Also, it was noted that there are language problems in Europe that do not exist in North America; these need to be recognized.

What should we do to "recognize" these problems?  jm

 The structure for distributing AESHC information about its activities need to be much clearer. AESHC needs to make the use of the web site and the reflector easy and intuitive.

.What else should we do?  jm


4  Core Items for the meeting.

4.1  Common software usage.  The suggestion was made that universal computer file formats for sound, text, pictures and video be adopted.  The chair said that this was clearly needed, and was an important part of the effort to clarify the methods for communicating information throughout the whole of the AESHC.  This desire is again communicated to the leadership of AESHC.  There was consensus on this issue among all in attendance.

We would be glad to have specific suggestions on this subject. So far the files on the website are in html for simple text files, and Acrobat PDF for more complicated texts and pictures. I believe "everyone" can read these files without problem. We would like to hear if this is not true, or if you feel that there are more appropriate formats. Suggestions for sound and video would also be welcomed. Perhaps these topics would be fit for discussion on the aeshc reflector? jm

4.2  Inventory of audio history projects.  It was noted that the need existed to make an inventory of audio history projects that are under way or should be initiated in Europe.

The web page has a heading "Active Projects", with a link to the Oral History Project. I will be asking Manfred Krause to write up the HK Thiele Archive Project, so we can add it to the Active Projects list. Similarly, the "When Vinyl Ruled 2" for the 111th Convention in NY in 2001 September.  The other suggested projects are in Sec 2 "Purposes" of the HC Guidelines ( , and we would be glad to hear from anyone that wants to activate any of these projects.  jm

This inventory should also indicate the person who is conducting, or could conduct, such projects.

The active projects and their leaders and their email addresses are now given in AES Historical Committee Officers ( And I need to better coordinate "officers" with "active projects". I'm working on that.  jm

  It was noted that the Phonographic Museum in The Netherlands is conducting interviews with persons prominent in the history of the Dutch recording industry.  This is an active project.  It may be possible to form a partnership between this project and the AESHC.

Yes. At the very least we would be glad to add to our "links" ( ). We'd appreciate anything you can do to enable this. I'd suggest you contact directly the Oral History Project leader Irv Joel   jm.

  Furthermore, it was suggested that national oral history projects should be undertaken in the native language of the person being interviewed, with an English translation and/or summary complementing the audio recording of the interview.

Yes -- the Oral History Project descriptions need to say something specifically about this. I thought we had done that, but I can't find it on the website, so I guess that it still needs to be done.  jm


4.5  Storage and access of historical materials.  When materials are generated digitally, storage and distribution are relatively easy.  However, currently, the AESHC is conducting oral history interviews using 8 mm tape.  This medium is not appropriate as an archival medium.  In the near future, these recordings will need to be transferred to more archivally stable media, requiring more time and effort.  Attention needs to be given now to using a more acceptable media for the oral history interviews, and plans need to be laid for the transfer of the 8 mm tapes to an archival medium.

Again, suggestions should be sent directly to Irv Joel, project leader of the Oral History Project, with recommendations for a more appropriate archival medium. jm

  It was noted that oral history interviews were being conducted at this Amsterdam conference to continue the project before it becomes too late.  These interviews use the same methods as those in the United States.  It also was noted that language problems pertain to the making and editing of these recorded interviews.  It was noted that a more effective and informative record of individual experiences would be achieved when the native language of the subject is used.  It was the consensus that native language should be used for European interviews.

I have addressed this above in Sec 4.2.  jm

4.7  A question was asked about comments made in earlier meetings (e. g., Munich, 1999) that some tapes from meetings had been lost in at AES office.  Is this true?  It was noted that AES Secretary Ron Stryker is in the best position to answer this question.

I looked at those minutes, but do not find this item. Can someone give me more information, so we can follow it up? What kind of tapes are lost -- audio? video? lectures? meetings? exhibits? From what meetings?  jm


Respectfully submitted,
Ted Sheldon
AESHC Vice Chair

jm  2001-09-12

AES - Audio Engineering Society