Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Burning discs and making labels

This morning, I finished up creating announcements for the file I was editing. It was a recording of Creek Indians from Oklahoma, collected by Frank J. Speck, ca. 1905. Really cool stuff. We create an opening technical announcement, followed by an ATM announcement relating to the content of the item and its provenance. We also add little bits of silence between items and between announcements and content.

I had to record the following announcement into a microphone, using Sound Forge:

This 16-bit, 44.1 k, mono digital file was created in February of 2005 and is considered an access file. It is a flat transfer of the source recording. The source was played back on an Otari 5050 MXIII open reel tape machine and the signal was sent to an Allen and Heath board and into a Mytek Stereo 96 A to D converter, using 16 Super Shaper HR, then into a Dell Optiplex 240 PC with an RME Digi 96 sound card using Sound Forge 6.0.

[Then the content announcement:]

Indiana University. Archives of Traditional Music. Accession number 54-141-F. Oklahoma, Creek Indians. Frank G. Speck, ca. 1905. A copy of EC10" 576.

The ATM data is recorded on the CD itself, while the technical announcement remains only on the digital file. I can see how all this information is important to future generations of archivists and conservators. The technical data helps engineers reconstruct and understand the preservation/digitization process; and maybe will be used as metadata itself (probably for technical and preservation metadata). The ATM announcement is digitized onto the access copies (ATLs) and are on all access copies to give researchers context about the contents of the recording, where the recording resides, the call number, the collector, and the original item shelf number. All this could be used for descriptive and provenance metadata as well.

Later, I burned a copy of the files to CD using CD Architect, and created labels to put in the CD tray. We use a special CD pen to label the disc, and never attach labels to the disc itself--for fear of how long adhesive labels will really last.

Today's preservation quiz was ok this morning--not too bad. We had an interesting lecture about the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC)'s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice. Very detailed and concerned for the proper process and conduct of conservators and organizations that do conservation work. One of the one's that struck me most is the degree to which one is expected to work within their area of competence or expertise. That should go without saying, but I think it's bold and a good practice to actually say it in writing.


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