Compact cassettes, despite their simplicity, often present problems during digitization. This entry will highlight an approach to digitizing compact cassettes that exhibit squealing and speed instability after being rehoused using new hubs, slip sheets and associated components. Since I have started here the only cassettes, to present this problem are labeled “Stanford Bookstore”, so the actual manufacturer of the cassettes is unknown. Currently there are two common treatments for addressing squealing cassettes: playback in a cold environment or lubrication of the tape during playback. This entry describes tape lubrication and is informed by the work of Richard Hess and Marie O’Connell. I will first introduce the collection currently being digitized then briefly highlight an approach to applying D5 (Decamethylcyclopentasiloxane) lubricant to rehoused cassettes. For more information on D5 and soft binder syndrome, visit Richard Hess’s webpage here: http://bit.ly/11SBTVP.
Have you ever wanted to explore new music but perhaps needed some inspiration? Some site that wasn’t Top 40 radio? Let me recommend Smithsonian Global Sound (access for Stanford students, faculty and staff). I recently looked for some traditional mariachi music--perfect for those warm summer days. A search for “mariachi” led me to over 20 albums of mariachi music and related genres. I chose to play music of the conjunto de arpa grande (big harp ensemble), a “country cousin” of the mariachi ensemble. These big harp ensembles consist of violins, guitars, and harp, without the trumpets so common to mariachi groups. The sones (sentimental songs) and valonas (poetic narratives) were sung with a wonderful directness and vocal flair. The playing was rhythmic, tuneful, and celebratory. Perfect!
The Stanford Media Preservation Lab (SMPL) – the unit responsible for digitization and preservation of Stanford University Libraries' (SUL) extensive holdings of sound recordings and moving images -- is busy this summer preparing for our new home at 425 Broadway in Redwood City. SMPL is one of several SUL divisions relocating from our current occupancies at 1450-1454 Page Mill Road at the behest of the University.
Over 50 pieces of film, audio, video playback and treatment equipment -- nearly 1 ton of gear -- plus the desks of SMPL's four staff will be moved over Labor Day weekend (August 31 – September 2, 2013). In preparation for the move, normal lab operations will begin to wind down in early August. The work to reconfigure, cable and re-install the equipment will take 2-4 weeks. We expect to resume regular levels of services and productivity by October 1.
Medici.tv. provides high-definition webcasts of live classical music performances and an extensive video-on-demand catalog. Access is available to all current Stanford students, faculty, and staff.
Watch live-streamed concerts in real time or on delayed streaming. Concerts remain accessible generally for several weeks.
The Stanford Media Preservation Lab recently completed reformatting the audio tapes contained in the Betty Grover Eisner papers, held by University Archives. Eisner was at the vanguard of using LSD and other psychedelic drugs in her psychotherapy research during the 1950s and 60s. The majority of the tapes document long, multi-hour therapy sessions, with patients on mind alterting substances. Because of the content, which is often sexually explicit, these tapes are restricted; those interested patrons who want to listen to these tapes should contact the University Archivist for more information. A handful of tapes do have worldwide access however, including this cassette of a talk Eisner gave at a UCLA psychology seminar exactly 42 years ago.
This month marks the start of Stanford Media Preservation Lab's effort to reformat the audiovisual materials from the Benoit Mandelbrot collection. Over the course of the next month, SMPL will complete the project, making the materials available to researchers and patrons through SUL's Department of Special Collections.
The Stanford Media Preservation Lab has recently finished reformatting the 440 audiocassettes in the Fred Ross papers, an immense body of audio documenting the training meetings held by labor organizer Fred Ross Sr. Housed in Special Collections, the digitized audio focuses extensively on house meetings in the 1970s and 80s, an organizing technique Ross developed and taught. A small portion of the tapes include Cesar Chavez, who Ross hired and trained in the early 50s. Chavez later went on to form the National Farm Workers Association, but Ross always remained a mentor and strong influence. "As time went on, Fred became sort of my hero," Chavez said. "I saw him organize and I wanted to learn."