It is my pleasure to introduce Abraham Tewolde, a new intern at the Archive of Recorded Sound who is taking part in Stanford University Libraries 1st-generation summer intern program this summer. During his time here Abraham will be learning how a sound archive functions and operates, including work on finding aids, digitization, inventory control, accessioning, and research skills.
Abraham will also be a guest blogger during his time here. Please enjoy below the first of a series of posts Abraham will be offering over the summer.
"I’m approaching the end of my second week here at the Archive of Recorded Sound (ARS) and all that I can say is that it has been quite an experience. I feel like I have been transported back in time because of all of the records and players that I have never seen before. The biggest collection in ARS is the LP collection and I have been spending a lot of time organizing donated records to be put into the archive. It has been awesome getting to actually see what these records look like (and sound like!) because there is no way that I would have been able to do so if I weren’t here. I have also started to venture into organizing 78 RPM discs. These are a lot harder than LPs and they spin faster too (LPs: 33 1/3 RPM), but they can hold less music. There are also some crazy formats that I really want to listen to (like magnetic tape), but I’ll get to those later this summer. Even though records are not commonplace anymore, they have left a tremendous impact on the way modern music is made. Have you ever wondered why songs are about 4 minutes long? It is partly because that was all that a 10 inch 78rpm disc could hold on one side. Digitization is a big part of what the archive does, but the studio here is currently being repaired which means that I have to wait a while until I can see what that process is like. There is still a lot to the archive that I have not seen yet and I am looking forward to getting to explore those areas.
Outside of the archive, there is a lot for me to explore as well. There are so many different libraries on campus and I think it is kind of convenient to have the libraries be focused on a particular area because it provides more physical space for the media and it makes finding books related to each other a lot easier. Anyways, I’ll be sure to keep you updated as I explore and find more interesting things."