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Musings of a librarian, former archivist, musician, bibliophile, and tech-obsessed.

Entries in ARSC (15)


Association for Recorded Sound Collections Website

One of the reasons I haven't been doing many updates on this site is that my website development time has been spent on the ARSC website. The new conference page is up, with additional pages coming soon. I've also been working on building a lot of the new awards pages and committee pages. ARSC is moving more towards a people-focused site and organization, and our website will soon be reflecting the shift!


Better Late than Never...

So, due to my move in late January and the typical postal service, I did not receive my winter 2011 ARSC newsletter until yesterday. There were some great articles in it about new developments in recording cataloging such as the AudioMD and VideoMD metadata schemas and the Library of Congress genre/form heading updates. I believe I have commented on these developments in previous blog entries. What I did find exciting, however, are the new developments with ARSC's initiatives with pre-1972 recording copyright. Additional organizations have supported the effort to place these recordings in the public domain. The Office of Copyright will soon be issuing their report, which will be discussed at the ARSC conference in May (another reason I wish I could go). The site, has additional information on these developments.

I hope the Office of Copyright listens to us and understands what archivists and librarians are try to do--we don't want to cut into future profits for the RIAA, we want to preserve the sounds of the past.

SAA is also getting involved in the copyright discussion.


More in Metadata

This message was posted on the ARSC listserv and contains information and resources concerning the new audio and moving image metadata standards put forward by the Library of Congress:

The technical metadata schemas AudioMD (AMD) and VideoMD (VMD) were developed in 2002 at the Library of Congress for use in the LC Audiovisual Prototyping Project with METS. They have continued to be used since then because there has not been an alternative that has suited the needs of some cultural heritage institutions, particularly those using METS. They have now been updated. The two schemas describe audio and video and are likely to be interim schemas to the coming AES-X098B schema (see: ) as well as a video one under development as part of the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative (see: gttp://

The draft revised schemas are available at:

For AMD and VMD schemas there are some issues that we want to get feedback on:

Both schemas have their element names changed to camel case to harmonize with PREMIS and other standards. Previously underscore was used. Is this change desirable?

VMD has undergone a bigger update adding more elements to make it able to hold more information about video-files. An element <track> has been added. However to harmonize with AMD some more general elements are left in the schema so you can have a simpler description or you can use track to give more specific information. Should the two options be available in the VMD-schema?

VMD now allows for the repetition of elements that previously weren't repeatable. Are the added ones sufficient or do more elements need to be repeatable?

AMD has not changed the repeatability of elements. Are there elements that should be repeatable?

Does AMD need additional changes such as was done with the VMD schema?

Should the schemas be merged into one or should they be kept separated?

We will have a 3-week review; please send comments by Feb. 24, 2011.

Thanks to Karin Bredenberg (National Archives of Sweden) for revising the XML schemas.


Rebecca S. Guenther

Senior Networking & Standards Specialist Network Development & MARC Standards Office Library of Congress


The State of Archives

Fueled by a quite lengthy post on the A&A listserv this weekend, I would also like to reflect on the state of archives in the US.

As an audiovisual archivist and musician, I am most impacted by the future of audio preservation, covered by an interview in WNYC this weekend. Guests for the interview included Sam Brylawski, an author of the study and leading member of ARSC, and Jody Rosen, a music critic for and senior critic for Rolling Stone. They reflect upon many aspects of audio preservation--degradation, problems finding resources for preservation, and copyright, to name a few.

Referenced in the A&A post, a blog post from the Derangement and Description author. I agree that young archivists are being slighted by some older archivists. I agree that we're doing a lot for little compensation.

But that's happening everywhere right now as older employees in every field stay longer to put off retirement and budgets of most institutions are being cut. Two former graduate student employees in our archives fought to get the part-time work they currently have, though they are expected to do work that requires more than a part-time commitment.

Newcomers into the field can turn this into a positive by going beyond what is asked of us, learning as much as possible and challenging ourselves to learn new ways of doing things. I learned basic audio engineering skills because we couldn't hire a consultant to set up our in-house digitization station. I also learned basic web design skills to create our archive's a/v webpages, and then my own website. Also, as this blog entry featured in OCLC "Above the Fold" states, spend time with people who challenge your thinking. Right now, I'm learning more about the entire digitization process as I serve on a consortial task force, set with writing a business plan for a new cooperative digitization service. I also network like it's my job, giving out nearly all of the business cards I received almost three years ago (I think I have enough for one more conference). Through networking, I've been able to get onto committees in two organizations, and have gotten free equipment for the archives. 

There is a gap between long-time archivists and the new archivists, felt more in some associations than others. I feel at home in ARSC, encouraged on projects by freely given advice, and I'm asked for advice on other issues. The people I've met at ARSC who have been in the field longer recognize that us new archivists aren't trying to get rid of the old ways of the archives, but that we're together in this fight to preserve our collections, and the younger archivists' skill sets can be used to try new ways of doing the old methods.


Why Care About Audio Recording Copyright?

As I posted in this article yesterday, US audio recording copyright is hindering audio preservation. This isn't new news to all of the audio archivists and enthusiasts that have tried to preserve legacy material (pre-1972) only to have a governing body tell us to stop because we could be sued.

What can we do?

Read more about the Historical Recording Coalition for Access and Preservation (HRCAP) to find out about what is going on in the world of audio copyright and the developments with Congress and the US Copyright Office.