History of the AES Project Proposal 2006-09

"History of the AES" Project, Proposal 2006-09
by Jay McKnight and Irv Joel

Originally sent to Roger Furness, Project Leader 2006-08-22. Slightly updated 2006-09-25

The "History of the AES" Project needs action!

A Little Historical Review

When Don Plunkett chaired the Historical Committee (1972...1999), he published some papers on the history of the Society in the Journal (which we have put onto the HC website here  (at ), and he wrote a "Draft Purpose and Procedures of the History of the AES project" (which we have also put on the HC website here at

The latter document has an Appendix that lists the state of the AES Historical Archive as of 1999-08, with a few "complete" years, some "fairly complete", and many "not done".

At that time (1999) the historical material was both in your office and scattered around other offices at the HQ. In 2001, we asked you to lead the "History of the AES" project, and you accepted. In 2002, you oversaw moving all of the historical files at HQ to an offsite storage facility, in order to facilitate the refurbishment of the HQ offices. There are 28 boxes in the storage area. The boxes are standard storage boxes 10"H x 12"D x 15"W.

In 2004 you promised to work on organizing and cataloging the files that are in storage. But in the two years since then, you have not found any time to work on this project. We -- especially Irv Joel and I -- are very concerned that all of the Society's history is languishing in dead storage. We have no idea what is in those files, and they are inaccessible to us. While some of the materials may be durable and self-identifying, some such as photographs of officers and members will become completely useless as the "oldtimers" who could identify the people die off. Some things such as video tapes may not be well identified, and may self-destruct in time, and need to be copied if/while it is still possible.

Proposed Action

We belive that it has become an urgent requirement to catalog and index these materials that are now in storage. Irv Joel, Al Grundy, and John Chester have volunteered to do the work. We would be pleased to have you join us, but the last several years has shown that your time is fully committed to other projects. We feel that we must move ahead with this project now.

We will need a place to work. This would be a fairly secure area -- there is nothing "valuable" in the collection -- it the NYC area, with space for perhaps four boxes of files at a time, and two people to work, inspecting, cataloging, and indexing the materials.

Our understanding is that there is no such place available either at the storage facility, or at HQ. So we have located a place where we can work, at Al Grundy's office in New Jersey. We now need to have you instruct the storage facility to deliver the files to the work place. As I said, we'd be pleased to have you work with us, but it seems that the spirit is willing, but the schedule is full.

Your early reply is appreciated.

Jay McKnight, Chair
Irv Joel, Vice Chair
AES Historical Committee

AES - Audio Engineering Society