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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?  

John McCarthy Papers; sc0524_1995-247_b27_f12

These new collections take advantage of recently released functionality that provides researchers with new rich discovery and access capabilities for finding and working with digital collection content. Researchers may now discover the following materials: 

Pleistocene Lake Surprise

This collection provides supplemental data and spreadsheets related to the M.S. thesis in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences by Daniel Ibarra (December, 2014) and the subsequent publication in the Geological Society of America Bulletin (Ibarra et al., 2014). For additional information about this collection, check out this recent blog post by Amy Hodge.

Collection Contact: Amy Hodge

Eight new digital collections are now available in SearchWorks. Several of these collections take advantage of recently enhanced functionality which better integrates material in the Stanford Digital Repository with data contained in Symphony and enables discovery of and access to media files.

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.

Steve Schneider [photographer unknown].

Dr. Steve Schneider was inspired to be involved in climate change and global warming in part because of Earth Day.

Like his eco-ally Carl Sagan, Schneider was a scientist able to Successfully get information to the public. Sagan had his television show Cosmos (recently revitalized by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Sagan’s widow, Ann Druyan—check your local listings).

Schneider wrote popular science books, did radio interviews around the world and appeared in movies and on television.

Here he is with Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show on July 19, 1977.  Clip courtesy of  UCAR/NCAR. 

Movie camera

Digital media is a hot topic on campus these days.  With the available tools and technology, it has never been easier to express ideas and broadly communicate information through media formats, and many departments at Stanford are actively producing and posting media online. The emergence of MOOCs and other forms of online learning that incorporate video and audio are heightening awareness of the many challenges in managing all this media content.

To address these challenges, Stanford Libraries and IT Services have teamed up to form a new Community of Practice, the Stanford Media Group. The group offers a unique opportunity for folks across Stanford with a stake in media to share information, foster best practices, identify common needs, and implement centralized solutions to support the work of the University. 

Ampex VR3000

The San Francisco History Expo is this weekend (March 1-2, 2014) at the Old Mint. Some very early video footage from the Ampex Corp collection at Stanford will be on view there.

This footage -- preserved through the state-wide California Audiovisual Preservation Project -- is special because it demonstrates Ampex's first portable video recorder, the VR-3000. It depicts scenes recorded on a San Francisco cable car going steeply down (probably) California Street in 1967!

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