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Sound recordings



The Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound is pleased to announce the appointment of Benjamin Bates to the position of Operations Manager.

Image of John Wayne paper based disc

Earlier this year the Stanford Media Preservation Lab and Conservation Lab were tasked with figuring out how to playback severely warped paper based disc sound recordings. The recordings in question are from a three disc set titled Man-Talk by Three Great Western Stars and each one-sided disc in the set features a single monologue by John Wayne, Bill Elliott, or Johnny Mack Brown.

Stanford University Libraries in Redwood City - construction photo

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. 

Frank Ferko

The Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound is pleased to announce the appointment of Frank Ferko to the position of Sound Archives Librarian. Recently, Frank served as the Metadata Creation Professional in Music and Media at UC Berkeley.

Erin Hurley

The Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound is pleased to announce the appointment of Erin Hurley as Project Archivist for the San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation Collection project. Erin will be processing this collection, creating the finding aid, and selecting materials for digitization to make this jazz collection accessible.

Pierre Avoi (Verbier), 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.

One of many open reel tapes at Stanford from the John C. Lilly papers

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.

For your browsing pleasure, here are the Spring 2016 highlights of newly acquired collections available at the Archive of Recorded Sound.