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A compact cassette from the Clayman institute on Gender Studies SC0705

The recent digitization of cassettes from the Clayman Institute for Gender Research was a reminder of the wide range of collection sizes preserved by SMPL. This entry will give a brief description of why this collection is interesting and how it relates to the multiple workflows of the Stanford Media Preservation Lab. 

Open tape reel from Gerhard Samuel Collection, ARS.0049

During the fall of 2013, Stanford University Libraries (SUL) convened a working group to investigate the current state of access to audio and moving image materials held within its various collections, notably rare materials within its different special collections departments, along with those held at the Hoover Institution Library and Archives. 

Following many weeks of investigation, the Media Access Working Group (MAWG) produced a report in December 2013 outlining its findings, along with various recommendations to help tackle the issues discovered. The group considered issues relating to use cases, copyright status, available technologies - including media streaming, and content usage. 

Sound recording of Peter the dolphin after having LSD administered

Recently a film director from the BBC visited the Stanford Libraries while seeking content for a documentary related to the noted cetacean researcher and activist John C. Lilly (1915-2001).

French Horn

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

Victor- Victrola - Credenza (1925). This phonograph featured the largest horn Victor had built to date and was often used to demonstrate the quality of orthophonic reproduction.

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

Stanford Mendicants 1976/1977 - Album Cover

Ahead of their 50th anniversary show this Saturday (October 26th) at the Bing Concert Hall, I am very pleased to announce the successful recent completion of a 6 month project aimed at archiving and digitally preserving the Stanford Mendicants' complete recorded output between 1964-2012.

Front cover image from the album Stanford Mendicants '65

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.

Aretino - Phonograph (after 1906). Designed to only play discs with a 3" diameter hole.

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. 

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