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October 27, 2015

World Day for Audiovisual Heritage: AVPreserve and NEDCC Present A Report on Existing Sound Recordings in Collections Across the US

In honor of World Day for Audiovisual Heritage, AVPreserve and NEDCC are proud to present their report, Quantifying the Need: A Survey of Existing Sound Recordings in Collections in the United States.

In 2014, AVPreserve and NEDCC, with funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, undertook an in-depth, multi-faceted assessment to quantify the existing audio items held in institutional collections throughout the United States. This was performed in response to The Library of Congress National Recording Preservation Plan and its call for the appraisal of collections, as well as to establish a foundation for articulating the current preservation need of sound recordings in collections nationwide. Our goal was to acquire enough trustworthy data to be able to answer questions such as “How many sound recordings exist in broadcast organizations across the US?” or “How many sound recordings exist in archives throughout the US?” Moreover, we wanted to answer more complex questions such as “How many of such items are preservation-worthy?” or “How many have already been digitized?” Prioritization for digitization is as critical as both funding and timeliness. The foundation for action on all three of these fronts is trustworthy quantitative data.

Our study culminated in a report, Quantifying the Need: A Survey of Existing Sound Recordings in Collections in the United States. It is available as a PDF at the following URL:

http://www.avpreserve.com/papers-and-presentations/quantifying-the-need-a-survey-of-existing-sound-recordings-in-collections-in-the-united-states/

We feel that the results are of great value and will be particularly useful for organizations in their discussions with internal and external funders as they plan programs for digitization over the next 5-10 years. We welcome feedback on the study and hope it encourages further conversation on the topic of audio and audiovisual preservation.

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