Library of Congress unveils plan to preserve recordings

Feb 14, 2013
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The Library of Congress has unveiled its National Recording Preservation plan, which involves preserving the US's "recorded sound heritage" for generations to come. The plan is mandated by Congress, and is composed of 32 recommendations encompassing both the public and private sectors. Issues concerning inadequate storage space and other problems will all be addressed.

Other issues that concern recording preservation is copyright issues and the ever-changing nature of technology. Because of the combination of issues, says the Library of Congress, many important recordings from America's past are already lost or destroyed. Experts say 50-percent of cylinder recordings, which represent some of the first recordings ever made, are ruined.

The preservation plan aims to solve this problem and prevent the destruction and loss of other recordings. Recommendations include the creation of a publicly available directory of sound recording collections, establishing a national policy for audio collections, and developing a licensing agreement that makes recordings available via streaming and archives.

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington offered this statement. "The publication of this plan is a timely and historic achievement ... Collecting, preserving and providing access to recorded sound requires a comprehensive national strategy. This plan is the result of a long and challenging effort, taking into account the concerns and interests of many public and private stakeholders. It is America’s first significant step toward effective national collaboration to save our recorded-sound heritage for future generations."

[via Library of Congress]


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