Blog topic: Media
Most of the community is aware of the planned development for Stanford’s Redwood City Campus. What few of you may be aware of is that four departments from the Stanford University Libraries (SUL) moved out to Redwood City three years ago. We have been working out of 425 Broadway which is one of the buildings slated for demolition. The development of the new campus necessitates SUL’s relocation from 425 across the street to 500 Broadway – the former home of AMPEX.
The four units moving are: Stanford University Press, Conservation Services, Stanford Media Preservation Lab, and Technical Services branch of Special Collections. SUL staff in these four units have been working for over a year with SUL’s Facilities Department on planning for this interim space. I say interim, because in another 2.5 years, we’ll be moving back onto the new campus.
Medici.tv, available to Stanford community members, is the place to watch live-streamed music including the Verbier and Salzburg festivals, and the Cleveland International Piano Competition.
Among the highlights of the Verbier Festival (July 22 – August 7) are the opening concert with Kyung Wha Chung alongside Charles Dutoit; two opera nights with Kate Aldrich in Bizet’s Carmen and Bryn Terfel in Verdi’s Falstaff; pianists Daniil Trifonov, Yuja Wang, András Schiff, Behzod Abduraimov and the revelations from the last Tchaikovsky Competition George Li and Lukas Geniušas; and legendary conductors, Michael Tilson Thomas, Paavo Järvi, Emmanuel Krivine or Iván Fischer. Behind-the-scenes video will include rehearsals and artist interviews.
Open reel tapes, head blocks, and unconventional track arrangements at the Stanford Media Preservation Lab
Part of audio preservation work includes working with media that has peculiar characteristics. Sometimes the atypical qualities are a byproduct of how the recording was made by the recordist. An example of this type of problem that we occasionally see at the Stanford Media Preservation Lab is when an open reel tape is recorded over and there is remaining content hidden in certain spots of the tape. This presents specific problems in capture since tape heads are built for use with specific physical configurations of tracks and thus capturing the hidden spots outside of the normal range of track configuration is near impossible. With this in mind SMPL recently worked on obtaining equipment to address this challenging scenario.
The producers of Riverwalk Jazz, the popular public radio program dedicated to presenting, preserving and promoting classic jazz, recently issued their acclaimed live production of “Porgy and Bess: A Jazz Transcription” on CD. The original program masters, recorded in 1992 on analog quarter-inch tape, were paged from the Riverwalk Jazz collection held by the Archive of Recorded Sound and digitized at the Stanford Media Preservation Lab for the release.
The Allen Ginsberg papers in the Department of Special Collections is truly the collection that keeps on giving. We here at the media lab have digitized a huge portion of the media (current count: 2000+ items), yet our interest in it remains high because of the sheer amount of gems hidden within. Even if we didn't enjoy Ginsberg, the vast amount of acquaintances he recorded from the 1950s until the 1990s would provide endless entertainment.
The Stanford Media Preservation Lab and the Department of Special Collections are delighted that Shu-Wen Lin is spending the summer with us in Redwood City interning as a media archivist. Leveraging her interest and background in the arts, Shu-Wen will help to process and preserve several media-based collections, including the archives of visual artist Carolee Schneeman and the archives of Telling Pictures, a prominent Bay Area film production company. Shu-Wen's first day is June 1.