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A compact cassette from the Clayman institute on Gender Studies SC0705

While often at the Stanford Media Preservation Lab we work with sound recordings Stanford acquired long ago sometimes we have the opportunity to work on media freshly acquired on the premise of immediately serving faculty and students. Recently a case like this occurred.

DAT

The Stanford Media Preservation Lab has kicked around the idea of building a dedicated Digital Audio Tape (DAT) "ripping" workstation around a Digital Data Storage (DDS) drive for a few years, but we never pursued it in earnest. We assumed the benefits of using a computer drive to read audio DATs largely centered around extraction time and reporting. Transferring a DAT in a conventional deck is done in real-time, whereas a DDS drive, we were told, would rougly cut the time in half depending on the speed of the drive (Peter Oleksik's retrospective on the Fugazi archive mentioned speeds up to 4x real-time using the DDS method with a Sony SDT-9000 drive and DATXtract). We also liked the idea of accompanying logs identifying where dropouts occurred. Still, we were skeptical whether such a system would be better than one designed around multiple conventional decks. Was there a way to test both methods without investing a bunch of money in late 1990s computer components?  

Tape container for Wind (1961)

The Archive of Recorded Sound is delighted to announce that the Richard Maxfield Collection (ARS.0074) can now be listened to online, via the collection's finding aid on the Online Archive of California. This collection features nine distinct works by electronic music composer Richard Maxfield, composed between 1959-1964, four of which are believed to be previously unpublished (Dromenom, Electronic Symphony, Suite from Peripateia, and Wind). Additionally, as Maxfield frequently produced unique edits of his work for each performance, many of the open tape reels that form this collection include alternative edits to those previously published, such as the tapes for Amazing Grace which feature three different versions of the work. 

We are happy to announce that Lucy Waldrop will join Special Collections in September as the project archivist on the Helen and Newton Harrison papers project. This is an NEH-funded project and will conclude in February 2016. Lucy comes to us from Wichita State University, where as a project archivist, she processed several large collections including that of photographer and film director Gordon Parks. The Harrison collection is a significant acquisition and this preservation and processing project is one of several art projects being undertaken by Special Collections in collaboration with the Art Library in the coming year. 

Navigating the river

The University Archives is pleased to report that more than 20 photograph and slide collections have recently been digitized and are now available online via SALLIE, Flickr, Facebook and Google+. The collections include:

  • Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (SC0634)
  • Felt Lake Dam Photographs (PC0142)
  • School of Education Faculty Photographs (PC0061)
  • Leon Thomas David Collection of Stanford Photographs (PC0126)
  • Ella J. Patterson Photographs (SCM0321)
  • George Harrington Photograph Albums (SC0592)
  • Department of History, Faculty Photographs (PC0025)
  • Stanford University Construction Photographs (PC0125)
  • Stanford University Photographs (PC0069)
  • Todd T. Barrett Photographs Documenting Stanford University (PC0135)
  • Stanford University Photographs and Memorabilia (PC0130)
  • Medical Center, Construction slides (PC0043)
  • Paul G. Allen Center for Integrated Systems, Dedication Photographs (PC0132)
  • David E. Hubka Slides Documenting Stanford University (PC0115)
  • Stanford Centennial Photographs (PC0052)
  • Florence Grace Savage Photographs (PC0068)
  • Henry Eickhoff Photographs of Stanford University (PC0122)
  • Stanford University Photographs (PC0123)
  • Stanford University, Libraries, Earthquake Damage Slides (PC0071)
  • Birge M. Clark Architectural Records and Personal Papers (SC0823)
  • Stanford University and the 1906 earthquake Photograph Album (PC0074)

Of particular note are the George Harrington photographs, which document Harrington's work and travels in Bolivia and Argentina, 1921-1926. Images include villages, local people, trekking on mountain trails and by river boat, geologic formations, other geologists, oil rigs, and various camps established by the oil company.

Image of Allen Ginsberg Papers Cassette

One of the remarkable things about large digitization projects is that not just formal events are preserved but also informal events are preserved for future access. As a matter of process the Stanford Media Preservation Lab takes part in the preservation of media that captures these special informal events.  Recently while working on a portion of the Allen Ginsberg papers many recordings were digitized but (at least) two recordings were re-formatted that informally capture his friendships with other important 20th century figures.

The Archive of Recorded Sound recently collaborated with the Bing Stanford in Washington program to provide digitized images from the Archive's Grover Sales Collection (ARS.0016) for an evening event at the program in late January which served to launch both a new arts track at Bing Stanford in Washington, and provide students from both Stanford and nearby Duke Ellington School of the Arts with an insight into the role jazz played in African American history and civil rights through the early to middle part of the 20th century.  The event  featured a display of enlarged wall mounted images of Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, and Ethel Waters, sourced from the Grover Sales Collection, digitized from 35mm negative slides. Grover Sales (1920-2004), a Bay Area author, jazz critic, and teacher, who regularly taught jazz history here at Stanford, amassed the image portion of his collection from various sources for use during his classes.  

By Deardra Fuzzell and Wayne Vanderkuil
A historic geologic map, the data for which was compiled over the course of many years by one determined man, William Smith. Completed nearly 2 centuries ago, it remains incredibly relevant.

This is one of the largest and most difficult oversized objects Stanford has digitized thus far.
See how the Digital Production Group went about imaging this unique item.

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