The Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound has recently finished processing the William C. Lynch Dennis Brain Collection. This collection is believed to be the largest of its kind in North America, if not the most comprehensive and organized collection of recorded music relating to the British horn player Dennis Brain (1921-1957), anywhere in the world. A full itemized finding aid for the collection is now available online.
The Archive of Recorded Sound recently held its first ever listening party on October 17th. We were thrilled to welcome over 40 attendees to the event here at the Archive, who were invited to flick through multiple boxes of duplicate 78rpm records, dating from approximately 1900-1940, to select those they would like to hear played on our 1925 Victrola Credenza, just one example from our magnificent phonograph collection here at the Archive which dates from 1904-1930. More details about this collection, including images and demonstration videos, are now available on our website.
The Stanford Media Preservation Lab (SMPL) has many partnerships on campus and the recent move provided a great opportunity to spend some time working in the audio room of one of those partners, the Archive of Recorded Sound (ARS). Several recordings were digitized and documented while there. Two projects completed of interest are the digitization of several recordings made by the a cappella group the Stanford Mendicants and the transfer of cassette tapes from the book and audio set: Photochemistry of Organic Molecules (POM) held by the Media & Microtext Center.
In addition to its extensive audiovisual and print collections, the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound also maintains a collection of audio equipment that highlights the development of playback and recording since the turn of the 20th century. At the center of this collection is a magnificent set of historic phonographs, ranging from a 1901 Edison Home A cylinder phonograph to a 1926 Victrola Credenza. These machines practically demonstrate the rapid changes in audio playback formats and machinery that occurred during the first quarter of the 20th century.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of Abraham Tewolde, our Stanford University Libraries 1st-generation intern this summer, details and images of notable examples from this collection, along with demonstration videos, can now be found on the Archive's website.
Back in the 1980s, five libraries -- including Stanford's -- undertook an effort to provide better user access to their sound recording collections. The result of this effort was a union catalog of pre-LP disc holdings that made it possible for users to find out what each of the five institutions actually owned.
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.
It is with a heavy heart that I introduce the fourth and final post by our Stanford University Libraries 1st-generation intern Abraham Tewolde, whose time with us here at the Archive of Recorded Sound comes to an end this Friday, August 16th. Working with Abraham this summer has been a real joy. The diligence, aptitude, and speed Abraham has demonstrated during his work here has been nothing short of remarkable, and witnessing the enthusiasm he has shown as he has learnt about the history of recorded sound, library research methods, and archival practice has been a true pleasure.
Thanks must go to Felicia Smith and Chris Bourg for devising and coordinating the excellent 1st-generation intern program here at Stanford Libraries. Thanks also goes to Benjamin Bates, Interim Operations Manger at the Archive of Recorded Sound, for his supervision of Abraham's daily tasks and help coordinating his schedule over the past few months.
All the staff here at the Archive would like to wish Abraham well as he starts college here at Stanford in the fall, and thank him for all of his hard work. We look forward to hopefully seeing more of him in the Archive in the near future.