Proposal on archiving historical recordings, by Alex Balster
For discussion at AESHC Meeting, Monday 2003 March 24, in Amsterdam, Agenda Item 7.3 .


1-International archiving.
    In the interest of an international scope and the interest to make these recordings available to the public the recording and archiving of the recorded material should meet certain international requirements.
    The above has been brought to your attention at my visits to the US conventions..

2-Practical implementation
    Independent and with respect to what has been done so far in the US, these activities have  taken place in various settings also in Europe.
    Because of the smaller scale of the European countries we rather prefer to do these recordings at conventions only with visitors from abroad. It is a incorrect use of convention time at the convention where you can do such recordings all year around in the environs.
    More over a substantial part of the interviewees do not visit the convention because of age and traveling restrictions.
    The non US recordings have to deal with the variety of languages to be used which often must be respected as the interviewee lacks enough knowledge of the English language and the interviewer might as well lack the native language of the interviewee.

    Although subtitling in English is a helpful mean it can never replace the original version.
    The recording means in Europe used to be as simple and portable in order to show up at locations where and when appropriate.
    Too much misunderstanding because of language problems nags to days society already.

    US recordings have been done using digital video recording on video cassette.
    In Europe audio recordings were done on cassette recorders, minidisk recorders, to day on modern MP3 recorders and on iPods. combined with to days digital photo's of the interviewee.

    Another item is the standard exchange format of such recordings. With the fast growing acceptance of file formats this is a opportunity to standardize a format which make it possible to make these recordings available to a greater public via CD, DVD, MP3 etc.
    Is AES standards 31 the right place?

    As by today we are unaware of what have been done on oral recordings around the world in total, it might be a good idea to make inventory of the recordings which have been made so far.
    This certainly will help to structure the program for the future schedules.

    Referring to the above it would be of imminent importance that the HC together with their members would deal with this matter before referring to guidelines (Email Irv Joel Jan.22) which are unfamiliar to others involved. (Subject for the historical meeting program)
    International activities like this ask for an international approach.
    Guidelines need to be a result of cooperation between the parties involved.

AES - Audio Engineering Society