The AES Historical Committee (HC) meeting was called to order by Chair pro tem Alex Balster at 15:35 in the Historical Café (Room R) of the RAI Convention Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Ted Sheldon, AESHC Vice Chair, served as secretary.
Alex Balster distributed the agenda for the meeting.
Members in attendance were welcomed. Nineteen persons were in attendance, including Robert Beppato, Gualtiero Berlinghini, George Brock-Nannestad, Jerry Bruck, Luciano d'Aleo, Tim De Wolf, C. L. Doesbury, Albert Grundy, Gerard Hali, Louis Manno, Andreas Meyer, R. David Read, Yoshizo Sohma, Herman van Laar, Arthur van Maurik, and Erhard Werner. They introduced themselves and gave short summaries of the their careers and interests in audio engineering.
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. 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. Also, it was noted that there are language problems in Europe that do not exist in North America; these need to be recognized. 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. This was agreed to by all.
3 Minutes of the Los Angeles meeting at the 109th AES Convention
( see http://www.aes.org/aeshc/docs/minutes/aeshc-minutes-109th-2000-09-24.html
Approval of the minutes of the Los Angeles meeting was deferred in view of the fact that no one from the Los Angeles meeting was present, and it seemed inappropriate to approve the minutes without comments available from North American participants.
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.
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. This inventory should also indicate the person who is conducting, or could conduct, such projects.
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.
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.
4.3 Audio History Library. Louis Manno discussed his work to create a privately supported audio history archive in New York City. He proposed in 1991 that an AES Historical Database be created. This database would fill the need for a place for researchers to go to learn about the history of audio, as well as historical audio equipment and its uses. He has begun a project, the Audio History Library, and is endeavoring to collect information (e.g., literature, manuals, etc.) for addition to the archive. While this is a private project, he welcomes cooperation from the AESHC and its members.
4.4 History of the AES. Albert Grundy (USA) indicated that he was working on an inclusive history of the AES, starting with the United States. He recognized that other national bodies are working on this same topic within their countries. The intent is for all these projects to come together as a comprehensive history of the AES.
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.
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.
4.6 The AES/Japan 50th anniversary. AES/Japan is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year in 2001. Yoshizo Sohma discussed the making of the history of the AES/Japan, 1952-1998 and presented a draft of the document to T. Sheldon, in both printed and electronic form. Sohma indicated that the history is written in the Japanese language and needs to be translated into English as a next step. Sheldon thanked Sohma and agreed to carry the impressive document to AESHC Chair Jay McKnight and begin the discussion regarding translation. <<Louis Manno indicated he might know of a source for talent to translate the history.>>
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 Streicher is in the best position to answer this question.
4.8 Robert Beppato announced that on the next day, May 14, at 11:00 am, a presentation will take place titled -Artifacts from the State Archives in Rome.- Recordings have been transferred to digital format and will be played.
5. The meeting was adjourned at 16:30.
AESHC Vice Chair