Sound Archives - A Guide to their Establishment and Development

Sound Archives - A Guide to their Establishment and Development

Edited by
David Lance


IASA Special Publication No. 4

©1983 by the International Association of Sound Archives
ISBN 0 946475 01 6
Secretariat: Helen Harrison, Open University Library,
Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA, England.

IASA Members may also download a free PDF version. If you are not a Member, why not join IASA?

Table of contents

Preface and Acknowledgements

The growth of new sound archives has been considerable during the past few years. Partly this is reflected within the International Association of Sound Archives which has seen its membership treble in the last decade. For these new members specialist advice can be gained from longer established member archives inside the professional community which IASA - as the only international body concerned solely with sound archivism represents. Through its journal (the Phonographic Bulletin), its special publications, its annual conferences and by the opportunities it provides for informal contacts, visits and exchange of information, the Association makes its expertise available.

Despite the fraternal availability of such professional benefits there are many regions, particularly the Socialist and Third World countries, in which IASA is not represented and where colleagues share problems which have already been experienced - and in many cases solved - within the International Association. Increasingly, new and inexperienced archives are therefore turning to individual IASA members for assistance. Thus, through these members, the Association has provided consultants whose work in areas such as Africa and South East Asia has furthered the development of sound archivism. Their role has often been confined to specific technical issues but, not infrequently, the question has arisen of how to establish an entirely new sound archive in an area without prior experience in the field. This 'Guide' is an endeavour to present in a general reference work the kind of basic information which many IASA members have previously provided through bilateral arrangements.

As the bibliographies in Appendix A of this publication illustrate, there is a considerable body of available literature on many of the specialised aspects of sound archivism and its related disciplines. Though widely scattered, much theoretical and practical information may be found which bears on the question 'How do you run a sound archive?' For institutions and individuals faced with the basic question 'How do you set a sound archive up?' there is, paradoxically, an almost total information vacuum. It is this question to which the contributors to this publication were asked to address themselves. As will be seen the individual authors have interpreted their brief in different ways; some offer fairly general brief in different ways; some offer fairly general in their advice. This work, therefore, should be seen as an introduction to sound archivism and certainly not as the last word. Readers are urged to make use of the 'Suggestions for Further Reading' in Appendix A to find sources of information relating to their detailed needs.

It is hoped that this guide will be particularly useful in Third World countries, where sound archives are a more recent interest and development. However, the publication is not exclusively designed for this purpose. Since the 'state of the art' in many developed countries is not high, it may be that this work will contribute to its general advancement. Much still needs to be done, however, before a body of reference material comparable to that which exists for conventional librarianship and traditional archive work will be available and the field of sound documentation adequately served. Towards this end IASA will shortly be publishing a Technical Manual and a guidebook on Selection. Further professional reference works may be expected within the next few years, to provide eventually the comprehensive coverage of sound archive techniques that is necessary.

In preparing the 'Guide' for publication I received valuable assistance. Bill Linnard, Grace Koch and Alexander Jansen - who are not otherwise acknowledged kindly provided the information on which the case studies for folklore and language, ethnomusicology and language, and commercial recordings in broadcasting are based in Chapter Ill. Helen Harrison and Dietrich Schuller gave advice and practical help in preparing and printing the work, while the eagle eyes of Laura Kamel and Kay Chee Lance spared me embarrassment from many errors and inconsistencies which would otherwise have been printed. Above all I must acknowledge the patience and tractability of my authors who tolerated with sometime astonishing forbearance the violence inflicted on their contributions by such an inexperienced editor!


1. Approaches to the National Organisation of Sound Archives (Rolf Schuursma)

1. Introduction

Sound archives have various origins. Broadcasting sound archives came naturally into being because of the primary need for developed storehouses of recordings for use in radio programmes. Other sound archives have developed within research or educational institutions which took up sound recordings as yet another source of information in their specialised fields (e.g. music, ethnomusicology, dialectology, political or social history). There are many and varied examples of such specialised archives, ranging from the Department of Sound Records of the Imperial War Museum in London to the Ethnomusicology Archive of the University of California in Los Angeles, and from the sound archive of the Netherlands Theater Institute in Amsterdam to the audio collection of the Indian Classical Music Foundation in Bombay. Many other archive$, however, developed inside institutions responsible for general collections, frequently of a national or regional character, which do not accentuate any specialised field. Thus centres like the Library of Congress in Washington DC or the Public Archives of British Columbia in Victoria have gradually built up extensive collections of sound recordings of spoken word and music alongside collections of books, documents and other media. A few sound archives have come into existence simply because their founders wanted to concentrate on sound recordings as such, regardless of any particular subject or regional interest, and independent of all other media. The British Institute of Recorded Sound in London is perhaps the best known archive of this kind.

Although the categories described above represent the main stream of sound archive activity other types of audio collections are also to be found. There are, for example, lending libraries which primarily specialise in the distribution of published material such as audio discs and cassettes and there are scientific institutes where sound recordings may form part of their monitoring or experimental data (e.g. recordings of the heartbeat made for medical purposes or bio-acoustic recordings used in the study of animal behaviour).

Whatever their origins, however, developments so far give the impression that in many countries sound archives - outside the realm of broadcasting – have been established as a consequence of momentary needs and certainly without much preliminary deliberation about an overall structure of sound archiving on a national scale. Even in areas where some effort has been made to consider whether the establishment of one or more sound archives would best meet the needs of the country as a whole, the outcome has seldom if ever been a structure based on clearly defined and elaborated possibilities and priorities. Some people may argue that this kind of 'structural' course is apt to fail and that a more ad hoc establishment of sound archives provides a stronger and more flexible approach to national needs than any other policy.

Whichever conclusion may be reached, however, it is important that the issue should be seriously and systematically considered. In many countries without any kind of sound archive organisation audio collections of various kinds are nonetheless coming into existence. The first requests for funds to cover their financial needs enter government offices or private foundations. Once this happens the administrators responsible for public or private money may, without adequate guidelines, grant or refuse resources according to the feelings of the moment. They should, however, consider the national need for sound archives and base their decisions on the outcome of such a study, while bearing in mind also the main existing models and options that are available to them.

2. General principles

In countries with as yet little or no sound archival activities there are two main ways of considering the subject, at least in theory. One is to look at sound archivism from the point of view of the medium itself, the other is to consider it from the point of view of the contents carried by the medium. The differences between the medium centred and the content centred approaches need further explanation before their respective advantages and disadvantages are examined.

The medium centred approach starts with the assumption that the preservation of sound recordings is so important and so specialised that the needs of the medium take priority over any other consideration. An archive based upon this assumption will tend to collect as many recordings as possible in order to preserve and describe them professionally and thus save them for posterity. Also such an archive does not usually give priority to research based upon the content of recordings and of other media carrying the same kind of information. The situation is reversed in the case of a content centred approach. Here the medium of recorded sound is just one instrument among many for research or education. It is the content of the recordings, which contributes to the total amount of information available for a given research or educational field, that is the centre of attention.

Anyone who is familiar with the field of sound recordings will immediately recognize that a strict differentiation between these two types of archives would be an over-simplification. In reality nearly every archive is a mixture of the two types with some accentuation of one or other of the two approaches. It is, for instance, obvious that no archive of the first type will totally neglect the contents of its recordings, while no archive of the second category will completely ignore the needs of the medium. However, this broad distinction is helpful for considering a national strategy for sound archives particularly in countries where as yet little or nothing has been achieved.

3. General versus specialised archives

Bearing this distinction between medium and content centred archives in mind let us first consider the needs of countries where recordings, of folk music or oral history for example, are coming into existence without being collected, preserved, described and made available in a professional way. In such countries there is much to be said in favour of creating a sound archive on a national basis which concentrates its primary efforts on the acquisition, the preservation and the description of every kind of sound record. Such an archive may conveniently be part of a national library or a public record office of written documents. The national institution would then take professional care of the preservation of the sound recordings in its collections, in the same way as it would of its paper and other records.

Although its staff would not perhaps spend much time on research on the contents of the records themselves, such a national archive would - in addition to preservation - certainly concentrate its efforts on their description, so making them fully available for research and educational purposes. If a national collection of sound recordings can be organised in this way as part of a state institution, then the government may also be expected to take care of its funding. In large countries additional centres may also usefully be established as branches of the national archive so as to provide recordings and facilities on a regional basis.

However, the national sound archive model has its limitations which should also be seriously considered before any conclusions are drawn about the most effective method for the organisation of sound archives. Every national archive is likely to try to live up to its broad objective by acquiring as many recordings as possible and to function as an archival centre for the total acquisition of every kind of sound recording in the country. However, unless the archive is part of such an enormously resourced and highly differentiated institute as the Library of Congress, even national archives will nonetheless generally tend to concentrate on a restricted range of subjects and be forced to leave some others aside. Although they are institutions with a wider field of view than is usually found in specialised archives the range of a national archive is still limited. The aperture of its lens has a wide-angle but nevertheless is not able to cover 360º or even more than 180º of the whole field of knowledge. This is not a situation which can be changed just by raising more funds and employing more staff. It is a structural problem, encountered in every institution where people try to cover comprehensively all fields of knowledge.

A related problem is that national sound archives will be required to administer a wide variety of highly specialised recordings many of which need much more detailed treatment than conventional cataloguing in order to make them most accessible for scholars. In this respect they are to be compared with public record offices and like those archives of written documents they seldom have the range of expertise to succeed in really giving their attention equally and on an equally high level to every subject of interest covered by their collections.

What then of the alternative approach to sound archive organisation: the specialised, single subject and content centred archive? From the point of view of the researcher and the educationalist a sound archive specialising in, say, history may be a better solution than a national archive, especially when it is part of a larger institution whose collections also include books, periodicals, films, photographs, written documents and newspapers relating to the same field. In other words, where all media combine to give maximum service to the user, who wants to study his subject of research or to have access to material for the class-room regardless of the medium it may be found in. This so-called multi-media approach is probably only possible in specialised institutes with archives concentrating on one field of interest or, perhaps, in some very great national institution like the Library of Congress.

A specialised institute with collections of pictures and sound recordings next to collections of printed or written records must, however, be prepared to direct a relatively greater part of its total budget towards the audiovisual media, for the obvious reason that the acquisition and the preservation of such media are generally more expensive than is the case with written or printed records. Such financial discrimination in favour of audiovisual records is not always achieved. Institutes with low budgets may easily feel that audiovisual media do not warrant such a high expenditure and decide to make less funds available for their administration than is professionally necessary. This is a problem for multi-media institutes and it can only be corrected or forestalled by firm decisions concerning the allocation of available funds.

There are other problems which must be taken into consideration as far as the specialised, single subject, content centred archive is concerned. One concerns the financial situation as seen from the national level. In the case of rather small collections, dispersed over several institutes, each specialising in different fields of research or education, the total cost may be rather high by comparison with the funds necessary to run a single, centralised sound archive which keeps all types of material on its premises. One should, of course, never accept such statements without applying a detailed cost-profit analysis but the assumption seems to be credible enough. Another major problem is that even a widespread network of specialised archives may not be able to cover the entire field of sound recordings.

Two institutions respectively covering folklore and ethnology, for example, may not have any activity in the field of dialect nor any interest in its development and, as a result, a major gap may be left in the national holdings.

4. Alternative models

Having considered a few arguments in favour of both national and specialised sound archives, it might be interesting to take a quick look at three other organisational models. First, the Arkivet för Ljud och Bild in Stockholm is an example of a national archive for sound recordings, videotapes and films, partly based upon the fusion of a few already existing archival collections. This Swedish model, of one integral national archive for all audiovisual media, is also interesting because it presents an alternative to both the national sound archive philosophy and the concept of audiovisual archives as part of a multi-media national institution like the Library of Congress. In Stockholm, sound recordings and moving pictures are brought together to the exclusion of other media such as books and written documents. It should be remembered, however, that storage and particularly the preservation of audio and visual media are in many ways different from both the technical aspects and from the financial needs and there may be some disadvantages to combining them. Also, in such an arrangement, the sound archive will only profit as long as the budget is fairly divided between the media, with each safely secured against interference, and so long as the management does not pursue a biased policy favouring the visual media at the expense of the audio.

Secondly, in order to profit from a similar kind of centralisation of the preservation and storage of recordings, several institutes in the Netherlands have proposed to the Government the establishment of an organisation which would act as a central depot and a clearing-house for audiovisual media and would also fill an intermediary role between the Netherlands Broadcasting Foundation (NOS) and the various public organisations and groups interested in access to radio and television material. These plans are primarily intended as a solution to the problems concerning films and video-tapes but they will undoubtedly have far reaching effects in the field of sound recordings as well. The clearing house idea may perhaps prove to be a valuable kind of compromise between the rigid centralised structure of a national archive and the 'anarchy' of quite independent and divergent specialised archives, especially in countries where such archives already exist.

Thirdly, there is the unique approach of Austrian sound archives united in the 'Arbeitsgemeinschaft Öesterreichischer Schallarchive AGöS' (Association of Austrian Sound Archives). The AGöS foresees a few primary archives concentrating on the collection and preservation of original sound records. These archives should not be open to the general public, but a network of other institutions including libraries, mediathèques or audio-visual centres should act as distributors of copies of the sound records preserved in the primary archives. The AGöS considers it necessary to maintain content centred archives in this range of primary archives, also distributing their recordings through the network of regional institutions mentioned above. The system starts of course from the assumption that certain standardisations in the field of title description and distribution media have first been accomplished.

5. Factors affecting national patterns

In reviewing the models considered in the preceding pages it will be seen that, despite the existence of several variants, the broad choice to be considered for the national organisation of sound archives lies between the establishment of a single centre or of several. In choosing between the unification or the multiplication of sound archives there are three other major factors that have to be assessed before the balance of advantage can be finally judged.

The first consideration, already touched on, applies mainly to countries in which specialised archives already exist. Once a collection of sound recordings is part of a specialised institute the creation of a single national collection is likely to become much more difficult to achieve. There will be a natural reluctance among such institutes to give up their sound archives despite any practical arguments in favour of a central or national solution. The effectiveness of such a solution then also has to be weighed against the value and efficiency of the service which existing archives are already providing. The inevitably disruptive effects of ending their independence obviously has to be more than balanced by the benefits that can be achieved through their amalgamation.

Secondly, an important part of the sound archival resources of most countries is represented by the output of their radio and television organisations. The national pattern chosen for sound archives may be significantly influenced by how these resources can best be organised in any particular state. Although broadcasting organisations commonly maintain their own archival collections, these are seldom open for educational and research purposes. Thus separate arrangements will generally be needed to provide public access to such material. Given the complications of copyright and contractual obligations, broadcasting organisations are often reluctant to provide copies of their recordings for use outside their own premises. They will certainly be even more hesitant if they have to deal with several institutes, each putting forward its own demands, than if they only have to collaborate with one. From this point of view a national sound archive can usefully function as the sole agent for broadcasting collections of sound recordings, providing a suitable access point for non-broadcasters while also centrally controlling and safeguarding the rights of the broadcasting agency and its contributors. A further advantage of such centralisation is that it ensures public availability of all broadcast recordings, including those which may happen to fall outside the orbit of existing specialised archives.

Thirdly, a similar case for a national sound archive can be made in respect of commercial discs and tapes published by recording companies. The reluctance of the recording industry to sustain a proliferation of centres holding copies of archival material in which commercial companies own rights is indeed now confirmed by its official policy. Thus its agent, the International Federation of Producers of Phonograms and Videograms (IFPI), has begun to promote the establishment of national archives in its member countries to serve as the only intermediary archives between the recording industry and the general public.

Such a centralised arrangement for broadcast and commercial recordings may not, however, always be the best one for researchers. Most national archives are - as mentioned before - in fact specialised in certain restricted areas of research. In acting as central intermediaries between broadcasting organisations or recording companies and researchers, however, they would also have to deal with many other fields of interest in which their staff may have no specialist knowledge. The BBC, for example, has understood this problem very well. Thus, copies from the large and valuable collection of recordings made during the Second World War have been made available to the Imperial War Museum, specialised as it is in that field, and not to the British Institute of Recorded Sound, which serves as a national sound archive but does in fact concentrate primarily on the field of music. As a matter of course any general archive might be expected to handle the BBC Second World War collections at a lower level of description and research than the specialised staff of the Imperial War Museum.

To conclude, the problems of and the models for the national organisation of sound archives are manifold and it would be unwise to pretend that there is but one solution for every country developing activities in this field. However, the establishment of a national sound archive is in many cases the best safety net for the recordings which every country is producing in ever greater amounts. This will ensure that all kinds of recordings will find their way into a professional preservation and description centre, where at least they may be saved for the future. Eventually specialised archives may also come into being, but even then a national archive may continue to fulfil this central function while also preserving those recordings which would not be collected elsewhere.

2. The Technical Basis of Sound Archive Work (Dietrich Schuller)

1. Introduction

The wide-ranging scope of this book illustrates the great variety of disciplines and institutions which owe much to sound recording or archives for their essential stimulus. Indeed, without sound recording and sound archives, it would be hard to imagine some disciplines ever existing in their modern form. Although the problems peculiar to each individual subject are and will remain the prime concern of scholars in those fields, all need to consider the basic technical requirements and the physical conditions necessary if acoustic source material is to be produced and to remain unspoilt for posterity.

This chapter, therefore, is aimed at the technical layman - such as the scholar drawing up a research programme or planning a sound archive - so that he might have some idea of the technical and financial implications of his plans and to ensure that, from the very beginning, he seeks the co-operation or at least the constant advice of technical experts. 1

If we are to establish what problems have to be overcome in sound recording and sound archives, we must first know something about the nature of sound itself. The term 'sound' is generally understood to mean periodic oscillations in air pressure, but for our purposes (with the exception of some bio-acoustic matters) it is sufficient to consider sound simply in terms of human hearing. In humans, hearing sensitivity starts at 16 cycles per second (Hertz, Hz) and extends to an upper limit of 20,000 Hz (20 kHz). Each doubling of audio frequencies is called an octave and the range of human hearing covers about ten octaves. With regard to different sound levels, human hearing has an extensive range. Hearing sensitivity begins at a sound pressure level of 2.10-4 micro-bars and extends to as high as 6.102 micro-bars, at which point the sensation of hearing becomes painful. The ratio of these sound pressure levels, which we term the 'dynamic range', is about 1:3,000.000 or l30dB2. All acoustic phenomena, whether a tone, a sound, exotic music, speech or any sort of noise, are made up of quite individual patterns of oscillation each of which can comprise a variety of partial oscillations but which can all be expressed in the fundamental parameters of frequency (= cycles per second or Hz) and amplitude (sound pressure level, expressed as dB).

By a transformation process, sound recording has to convert these parameters into a medium in which the function of time is rendered as a function of space, i.e. every moment in a sonic event has to correspond to a particular point on a recording.

Old phonographs and the early gramophones used to do this mechanically. Vibrations in the air were captured in a horn, exciting a membrane which in turn set in motion a stylus which left modulations on a revolving cylinder or plate, each modulation corresponding to the vibrations of the membrane and the air. The process of reproducing the sound simply involved reversing the procedure. The modulated groove moved a needle which then caused a membrane to vibrate and the vibrations would be amplified and made audible by the horn. In time electronic methods of recording and reproduction came to be used; the air vibrates the membrane of a microphone which then transforms the vibrations into an analogous alternating current. After precise amplification, this drives an electric cutting head. In reproducing the sound, we nowadays use electro-dynamic or electro-magnetic sound pick-ups which convert the modulation of the record groove into an analogous alternating current. By means of an amplifier, this will then drive a loudspeaker or headphones, which convert the alternating current back into air vibrations. The disc itself has not changed in principle since it was originally introduced.

In magnetic sound recording, the sound is stored on a magnetic tape. The alternating current from the microphone is converted in the machine's recording head into an alternating magnetic field. The tape, moving at a constant speed across this recording head, has each particle stored within its coating re-arranged in accordance with the alternating field. To reproduce the sound, the magnetic field fixed on the tape produces an alternating current as it passes across the replay head and, suitably amplified, is converted into sound by the loudspeaker. The process functions that much more precisely the more linear the system or, to put it another way, the less distortions there are. These distortions can be classified as three different types:

  • Linear distortion: this is caused by uneven sensitivity at different frequencies. The ideal requirement is a flat frequency response i.e. constant sensitivity across the whole audible range, from about 20Hz to about 20,000Hz.
  • Non-linear distortion: this is caused by changes in the original wave form and appears as spurious sound not present in the original (harmonic distortion, intermodulation distortion).
  • Modulation distortion: distortion mainly caused by irregularities in the tape travel. Pitch fluctuations ('wow' and 'flutter') and 'mod-noise' come under this heading.

In addition to these distortions there is the unavoidable noise which we find in every link in the chain and which occurs particularly in the sound carrying medium itself, limiting the dynamic range which can be stored. Despite all the technical progress which has been made since sound recording was invented, there is still no system so perfect that distortion will not occur. Even though there are no difficulties nowadays in converting and storing the whole audible frequency range, non-linear and modulation distortions are still with us. More important, with analogue recording techniques only 60 of the 130dB dynamic range of human hearing can be stored (although with the introduction of digital technology the upper limit of this can be raised to 96dB).

In view of what we shall see can be quite considerable outlays for machinery, servicing, tapes and their care and storage, we must explain why this cost-intensive standard is necessary for sound recording and archiving. In contrast to the written and printed word which reproduces a verbalised mental process by a series of representational symbols, a sound recording documents a physical event which can be repeated at any time after the event itself. A certain amount of redundancy is intrinsic in speech and writing and - without any real detriment to communication - letters, words, even whole clauses can be omitted. The essential value of a sound document, however, lies in the very information which it supplies over and above what can be transcribed; such as form and variations in tone, manner of speech, or - in the field of music - the timbre, the performance, the subtleties of rhythm. Here, too, we see more clearly that musical notation provides no more than a framework, just a small part of the total musical message. In the case of a noise, however, written symbols cannot provide an adequate substitute for any part of a sound recording. It is the very information which a transcription simply cannot convey, which provides the criteria and the fundamental argument for high quality sound recording. If, for any reason, the additional information supplied by a sound recording is considered worthless, then the recording is no more than an intermediary substitute for a written record and is not worth keeping. Merely making a voice intelligible or a melody clear enough to be transcribed should not become the sole criterion for technical standards in sound recording. Rather, it should ideally be a question of exhausting all available means to obtain the optimum quality of recording. The value of this ideal is further underlined by the fact that more and more scholars in various fields (musicology, linguistics, psychology) are endeavouring to make this element in sound recording which transcends writing, a subject for serious research.

It must not be concluded, however, that an ideal recording technique will necessarily produce an ideal recording in practice, for an array of technical gadgetry may end up distracting and disturbing the subject being recorded. Careful consideration must be given in every case to producing a compromise between the requirements of technical precision and the need for equipment to be unobtrusive, together with all the implications this may have for the choice of equipment and the resulting recording standards.

The question as to whether existing historical recordings are worth retaining despite their technical shortcomings is something which must be decided after consideration of the contents in each case, but a decision to retain them should not lead us to the conclusion that we may abandon the idea of trying to obtain the highest possible standard of recording in new projects.

  1. The Technical Committee of IASA is preparing a Technical Manual for Sound Archives which will deal in depth with all the technical problems specifically related to archives and will be aimed at a technical readership also. As this chapter is only meant to serve as a basic guide, it does not go into detail and deals only with conventional analogue recording techniques. For more detailed information, readers should consult the literature listed in the bibliography to this chapter.
  2. dB (decibel) is logarithmic ratio measurement of sound pressures or its analogous voltages.

2. Choice and maintenance of equipment

In all areas of making original recordings and producing archival copies, the use of equipment of a professional or, at the very least, semi-professional standard is vital. By professional equipment we mean the sort which comes up to modern standards of technology, which will guarantee a minimum of distortion and which will be sturdy enough to continue producing recordings of the highest standard after hundreds and even thousands of hours of operation. By semi-professional equipment we mean the sort designed for the discerning amateur which, in its technical performance, will almost if not totally equal that provided by professional equipment. Of course, semi-professional equipment is not as sturdy in its construction as the professional variety and its performance will decline after extensive use.

Above all, these basic principles apply to the tape recorder which is the vital organ of the technical system in all modern research programmes. If it is at all possible financially, both stationary and portable equipment should be of the professional kind. In view of the small number of companies which deal in equipment of this class, and of the comparable price-to-performance ratio of different products, the choice of a specific make is not critical. From the point of view of efficiency, however, it is best to choose a manufacturer with outlets across the country or throughout the region as this will make servicing and the supply of spare parts that much easier. This generally means using the makes and types of equipment used in local or national radio stations. This approach is particularly recommended for countries outside Europe, if one is to avoid the risk of recording sessions being held up for several weeks when equipment breaks down. Of course, semi-professional equipment can also be used for recording but any savings on purchase costs must in the long run be offset against higher outlays on servicing and repairs. However, these cheaper types of equipment may be used in cases where less precise copies of high quality recordings suffice, such as in monitoring. 1

Of all audio equipment, the tape recorder requires the most thorough maintenance. This is because each individual machine has to be very carefully tuned to match the tapes compatible with it, if the optimum performance is to be obtained from both together. With continuing use the tape heads are gradually worn down, impairing the performance, and regular adjustment is absolutely vital if the best possible quality is to be retained. Moreover, electrical parts can, without any warning, become defective regardless of how long they have been in use and it is essential that tape recorders and the adjustments made for the tapes used on them should be continually monitored. In general, the following service schedule might be used as a reasonable guideline for professional equipment:

Daily (or every time a machine is used): check the frequency response and carry out an auditory test.

Weekly: clean and demagnetise the tape heads and tape paths.

Two monthly (or after every 50 hours use): carry out a full service.

In the case of semi-professional equipment (especially with machines which receive rather rough handling or are used to record a unique or rare occasion) it is advisable to carry out the above procedures at more frequent intervals. A full service on a professional piece of equipment will take between one and two hours (as long as no serious repairs are necessary) but about twice as long is to be spent servicing a semi-professional set. If it is at all possible financially, institutions should employ their own well qualified audio service technician for this work. Even if an institution has only a small amount of equipment such a technician, qualified in the right field, can be given the job of producing copies and looking after the collection. In this way institutions will avoid the need to rely on the often shoddy workmanship of servicing firms and at the same time find it easier either to carry out or to supervise the extensive servicing of equipment necessary in order to maintain archival standards. A written record should also be kept of this work. Managing all this, of course, requires a whole series of test apparatus and tools and, last but not least, a workshop.2 Lack of the necessary financial resources or shortage of skilled technicians may make this impossible, in which case one should always try to work in close co-operation with similar institutions which share the same service requirements and with whom a solution to one's needs might more easily be achieved. Alternatively, one might enlist the help of local or national radio stations.

Microphones should be chosen with great care. Not only do they have to satisfy specific technical requirements, they should also be tested in a properly equipped workshop whenever they have been extensively used (once a year at least and whenever they have been dropped or similarly mistreated). Here again, if the necessary facilities are not otherwise available, institutions of a similar nature should work together or, where there are no other similar institutions, radio organizations should be consulted for technical expertise and advice.

  1. Price ranges for tape recorders (¼ inch tape, mono or stereo, prices and exchange rate as of June 1982) are as follows. All prices quoted are in US dollars, ex-works, excluding import duty and taxes.
    Stationary professional sets .............$ 3,500 to 8,000
    Stationary semi-professionals sets ...$ 1,000 to 2,000
    Portable professional sets ............... $ 4,000 to 6,000
    Portable semi-professional sets.......... $ 600 to 1,000
  2. For the range of essential measuring devices and equipment one should be prepared to pay at least US $3,000.

3. Choice of tapes and tape formats

If the highest standards are to be maintained, then the choice of tapes and tape formats is scarcely less important than the choice and maintenance of recording equipment. Because of its sturdy nature and its low sensitivity to humidity and temperature, and because it presents the least mechanical problems, the tape most widely used nowadays for archival purposes is polyester tape with a thickness of 52 micro-metres (1.5 mil). Several varieties of tape display good electro-magnetic qualities, are not significantly prone to print-through and are, therefore, suitable for archival purposes. For recording outside the studio long-play or double-play tapes are often the best sort to use because of the length of recording time they give, but care should be taken to make sure that these records are transferred to archival tape as soon as possible. It is impossible to say that anyone particular tape is 'the best', and the choice of tapes is usually a question of compromise between availability and price. As with the choice of equipment, one should bear in mind when choosing tapes, how many other similar institutions or radio stations use the same type. Furthermore, one should generally choose tapes which are likely to be available on sale for as long as possible, so that recording equipment does not have to be continually re-adjusted to compensate for different sorts of products. For the same reason it is advisable to purchase a large stock -about a year's supply -in advance and to ask for a batch from the middle of a production run. Care should be taken with new varieties of tapes, as the improved electro-magnetic qualities of a tape can often be accompanied by a fall-off in mechanical quality (such as its resistance to oxide shedding), at least during the period when a new tape is being brought onto the market. It makes better sense, therefore, to choose a somewhat older but proven product rather than risk losing valuable source material by using poorly tested products.

As efficient sound recording is a basic requirement for sound archives, it follows that high standards should be observed when choosing tape formats. The recording speed for original recordings and archival copies should never be less than 19 cm/s. For mono recordings one should use full-track, while for stereo recordings, halftrack should be used. For evaluation work and for distribution the expense can, of course, be tailored according to the requirements and for certain types of work compact cassettes are quite adequate in the quality they provide.

4. Handling, storage and preservation

In presenting the arguments for high standards in recording we saw that sound recordings, unlike written records, contain no superfluous matter but that every detail is a source of information. In a book, a spot of fungus on a page will generally not hinder the reader and at worst may reduce the volume's commercial value, but the slightest damage to a sound recording immediately results in a loss of information. Its physical vulnerability dictates the precautions which we need to take if we are to ensure the preservation of acoustic source material. 1

Before considering other risks to sound carrying media we must first consider the problems of decrease in quality as a result of normal use. Disregarding the damage done to recordings by careless handling, the loss of quality through normal use is relatively high in the case of mechanical sound carrying media. Because of the friction between stylus and record, with time the groove becomes worn and the signal distorted. The degree of wear and tear involved depends on various factors, but above all on the condition and adjustment of the record player. The recorded signal and the material of which the record is made are also important factors, so that no matter how careful one might be the risk of damage can still be relatively high. These risks are appreciably less in the case of magnetic recordings and, provided excellent playback facilities and modern tapes are used, it is safe to say that changes in the signal in normal playback will be minimal. There is always the danger that tape oxide might sometimes be rubbed off, especially when older tapes are wound at high speed. In particularly bad cases one must take special care by making safety copies, but generally it is sufficient simply to wind at a slower speed.

The effects of temperature on sound carrying media depend on the material involved. In the case of shellac and modern vinyl records and the nowadays rather rare PVC tapes, temperatures above 500 C are considered a risk. The old acetate tapes, which are no longer produced, and the modern polyester tapes can withstand temperatures well over l000C. High temperatures, however, will increase print-through on tapes and continual changes in climatic conditions are also to be avoided; the optimum temperature for an archive is 200 ± 30 C, although print-through can be kept to a minimum in rarely used stores for security copies by keeping temperatures at a level of 100C. It should also be noted that heating devices, lighting and sunlight can also be damaging, even when temperature controls are used. The field researcher operating in tropical climates can provide some protection for his tapes and films by keeping them in polystyrene containers.

Only shellac records are immediately at risk from high humidity. The old acetate and cellulose tapes, on the other hand, shrink and warp if storage conditions are too dry. Micro-organisms such as fungus thrive in high humidity and quickly attack both magnetic and mechanical sound carrying media altering the surfaces to such an extent that the record content may be partially or even totally ruined. Relative humidity should therefore be kept to a level of 50% ± 10%. Humidity is particularly important to researchers working in tropical regions, where valuable original recordings can be protected by frequently exposing them to the air and storing them together with moisture absorbent silica gel.

On records, dirt in its many forms produces the well-known crackle effect. With tapes it leads to 'drop outs', as the contact is lost between tape and tape head. Dust should, therefore, always be avoided and, equally, one should never touch the surface of a record or tape as this can also cause dirt to stick to it. Adhesives of all kind, especially inadequate splicings, should be removed if present and otherwise generally avoided. Before adopting a particular method of cleaning record or tape surfaces, one should always make a thorough check of the available literature on the subject and test the methods properly beforehand. Good packaging, properly sealed work rooms, archive areas which can be easily cleaned and with dust filters fitted to climate controls should provide a good protection against dust.

Defective spools and uneven winding can cause tape warping as also can bad packaging and incorrect storage. Both records and tapes should be stacked absolutely vertical when in store; if they are kept in a leaning position for long periods, they can become permanently warped and so this too should be avoided. Records may also be stored in suspended position, while any inserts - such as textual material - which can cause them to warp, should be kept separately.

A well-known and, as we shall see, over-rated cause of damage to tapes in store is the occurrence of print-through. This term is used to describe the echo effect resulting from magnetic interaction between two adjacent layers of tape on a reel, thus producing the effects known as pre-echo and post-echo. The degree of print-through mainly depends on the characteristics of the individual tape, on tape thickness, temperature and period of storage. However, the echo signal - unlike the basic recording signal - is unstable and can easily be greatly reduced by mechanical means, such as rapidly rewinding the tape. This is confirmed by the results of recent tests. 2 The problem of print-through, therefore, is one which can be ignored as long as tapes are chosen and stored correctly, are rewound once a year and kept alternately on the take-up spool (or 'tails out' position) and the feed spool (or 'tails in').

One should not underestimate the dangers to tapes from magnetic fields. Tapes should, therefore, be kept well away from dynamic microphones and headphones, as well as from loudspeakers and electronic measuring instruments. Permanent magnetic fields, which are a particular risk to tapes during play-back, can also build up on tape heads and tape guides. Regular demagnetisation is, therefore, a vital part of any service schedule. One should also make certain when fitting out storage areas that there are no high voltage electricity cables, power transformers or lightning conductors in the vicinity which might be dangerous sources of magnetic fields.

To complete the picture, it must also be said that one should consider not only the specific problems mentioned above, but also the more general ones such as security against theft, fire and flooding.

  1. Because this chapter is only meant to serve as a basic guide, only the most important sound carrying media have been mentioned. These are:
    Mechanical recording media (records):
      shellac records (78 rpm records)
      vinyl records (LP records)

    Magnetic recording media (tapes) with the following base materials:
      acetate-cellulose (AC, no longer used)
      polyvinylchloride (PVC, rarely used)
      polyester (PE)

  2. Schüller, D. 'Archival tape test' in Phonographic Bulletin, No. 27; 1980

5. Conclusions

As we have seen, all forms of sound recordings are extremely vulnerable and we should, therefore, consider a few basic principles and organizational methods aimed at minimizing the intrinsic problems involved.

Even if all the measures mentioned under section 4 are observed, accidental damage can never be ruled out. It is, therefore, necessary to develop a policy which will minimize - if not eliminate - any remaining risks. The main principle of such a policy is to keep -if at all possible - two high quality copies of each item in separate locations: one in the storage area of the sound archive itself; the other in a security vault well away from the archive's premises.

Wherever original recordings are made in a studio, standard archival tape should be used. Ideally two recordings should be made at the same time: one should function as the archival master to be retained in the archive itself. The second should function as a security copy to be stored in the security vault. The archival master should only be used occasionally, while in those cases where frequent use or in-depth evaluation is foreseeable, an additional (working) copy should be made. This copy may be of lower fidelity and even a cassette copy may serve for many routine archive purposes.

Original recordings made on portable equipment in the field, are rarely recorded on standard archival tape. It is therefore necessary to copy these long-play or double-play original tapes onto archival tape which then will serve as archival masters. If economies have to be observed then as a compromise the original tapes may, after copying, function as security copies, although it must be borne in mind that LP or DP tapes are not the most suitable for security purposes.

The production of archival masters and security copies should always be done with utmost technical care avoiding any element of subjective filtering or other aesthetic treatment. Fast copying techniques always affect the quality and therefore should be used - if at all - only for the production of working copies where a lower quality is acceptable. Every archival master tape should begin with test tones which facilitate the production of further copies and make it possible to conduct subsequent quality control inspection of the tapes. They also serve for short checks of the equipment while it is used. 1

The same principles of security also apply to records. Duplicates should be kept and - for security purposes - be stored at separate locations. Because of the higher vulnerability of records, the archival master should always be a tape copy while the record itself should only be used if the archival master is accidentally destroyed.

All storage areas, the one in the archive itself as well as the separate security vault, should be equipped with full temperature and humidity control (especially under tropical and subtropical conditions). The high cost outlay involved will often suggest co-operation with other sound archives in the same country or region. It may, therefore, be wise to establish as few independent sound archives as possible and to concentrate financial resources as well as organizational and technical skill. At university level, at least, only one unit should be established and professionally equipped and this should maintain co-operation with all research bodies that have an interest in the production and use of sound recordings.

If proper technical quality control is to be maintained, then written records should be kept of all equipment used for recording and copying. A note of the dates on which the recordings were made and the results of tests conducted should also be kept. This information together with the written reports on equipment tests, make it possible to carry out proper quality evaluations of copies. This is especially important in the light of the increasing work being done in all fields in acoustic analytical evaluation, since a sound recording essentially provides a measurement of a physical process whose accuracy or inaccuracy has to be known. It is also useful to keep test reels of each of the various sorts of tapes or batches of tape used, with recorded signals and a length of unused tape for future inspection and test.

Finally, it should be a basic principle of routine organizational security that only archival staff be allowed to handle original tapes, archival and security copies. Only by strict observation of this principle and by careful choice of staff who believe in precision in all things, can damage to the archival holdings be minimised.

In this chapter we have tried to show the technical layman who has to produce, accession and evaluate sound recordings the basic physical and technical framework within which he must operate. He should not assume that he no longer needs to study the relevant literature or seek technical advice. This chapter, however, should help him to take the right direction from the beginning and to approach the responsible financial authorities for the necessary funds. Let us not forget that, amidst all our considerations, it is the physical preservation of valuable acoustic source material and an irreplaceable heritage which is at stake.

  1. Schüller, D. 'Standard for tape exchange between sound archives' in Phonographic Bulletin, No.19; 1977

3. Documentation (Roger Smither)

1. Introduction: why document?

Few, if any, established archives can truthfully claim that the documentation of their collections is satisfactory or adequate. Most will admit to a sizeable backlog of material which is at best poorly catalogued or at worst completely uncatalogued. Older archives will attribute such shortcomings to the failures or faulty priorities of previous generations of archive keepers, but enquiries about their current practice will often disclose that the backlog is not shrinking, and may not even be static. This state of affairs is also common to many archives created too recently to have previous generations of administrators to whom blame can be attributed. The truth is that it is not only in the past that cataloguing and record-keeping generally have failed to be accorded a high level of priority in archives' policy.

The reasons for this are not difficult to find. The task of cataloguing is undramatic, its only urgencies are self-imposed, and its visible benefits on the whole are unspectacular and slow to materialise. Large backlogs of uncatalogued material, after all, have not inhibited the survival of archives into the present. An archive that is not growing, an archive whose collection is not being used by its intended audience or customers, and an archive whose collection is deteriorating are all in different ways obviously failing. An archive with less than perfect documentation, on the other hand, is merely making life less easy than it might be for its staff and users -or so it seems. Hence the concentration in a new archive on building a collection, and in an established archive on the technical care of the collection and the improvement of service to users; hence, too, the repeated decision, in the face of pressure for economies, that the archive's cataloguing section is the one which may be reduced, relatively or absolutely, with least disruptive effect on the archive as a whole. Until more secure and prosperous times arrive, why catalogue?

There is more than special pleading, however, behind the argument of cataloguers that the perspective and priorities just outlined are wrong. The task of cataloguing, or rather of documentation generally, should be seen as central to all aspects of archive administration. An acquisitions policy can be effectively pursued only if the decision makers know the material already in the archive and the gaps in the collection. The work of technical care and preservation of the collection depends on adequate record keeping which, if not actually part of the cataloguing procedure, has several points of contact with it -at the simplest level, archival effort may be wasted in the unknowing care of separately acquired duplicate copies of the same recording. An adequate service to the public cannot be achieved or maintained without the provision of catalogues and indexes of high quality - the personal knowledge of archive staff is no substitute, as any archive which has lost such a human encyclopaedia to accident, illness or a new job can testify. A poorly documented archive is thus at risk in all its activities, and an inadequate cataloguing effort can only increase the level of risk.

2. The documentation needs of sound archives

The precise nature of the documentation required by an archive will depend on the type of material it collects; the requirement will also be perceived differently by the archive's staff and its outside users. In general terms, however, documentation may be considered under three headings - registration, cataloguing and indexing.


An up-to-date register or inventory of its collection is an essential administrative tool for an archive and the maintenance of such a register is therefore a high priority task, although it need not be a complex one. The process of registering an acquisition formally acknowledges - most tangibly by allotting the new item an accession number which gives it an identity within the archive - both that the collection has been augmented by a new item, and that the item is now part of the collection. The register thus provides a reflection of the archive's growth, and a starting point for all the other documentation which is likely to build up around the item.

The essential feature of an accessions register is its simplicity. Complexity invites delay or confusion, and in either of these cases the register fails to fulfill its purpose. Registers are commonly held in book form, the pages divided so that entries appear in columns under such headings as 'accession number', 'date received', 'source' (i.e. from whom received), 'method of acquisition' and 'identification' (i.e. title or description of item). Entries are obviously in accession number order. Some archives use the numbers themselves to convey information, for example by maintaining separate number runs, or reserving blocks of numbers for different types of material, or by recording each year's accessions in a new numerical run. Such practices are of dubious value they may break down (a sub-collection might grow beyond the block of numbers reserved for it) and in any case the information implied is generally available elsewhere in the documentation. A single, simple numerical sequence is on the whole the preferred approach to accessions numbering -among other benefits, it conveys a direct impression of the growth of the collection.

Individual archives will naturally vary the column headings used to register their own accessions. An archive whose material derives solely from its own staff in the field, for example, would have no need for entries under method of acquisition and source, but might substitute the name or initials of the field-worker responsible and other details such as place and date of recording. Some archives use the accessions register for additional purposes perhaps as a checklist of procedures to be followed in the acquisition/archiving/cataloguing process. Such usage does, or at least should, not violate the principle that the register is a simple document, intended as an aid to archive administration.


In contrast to registration, cataloguing is a complex task, whose intended beneficiaries are both the staff of the archive and the outside users of the archive's·collection. The purpose of a catalogue is to provide, in systematic form, information on the items contained in a collection in sufficient detail to enable those who have to administer that collection or who wish to use those items to do so as efficiently as possible. Efficiency, in this context, means both the minimum waste of time and the minimum unnecessary usage of the recordings in the archive.

Information normally held in the catalogue falls into several categories, although their precise nature will obviously vary with the type of material catalogued, as is shown in the case studies at the end of this chapter. In many archives, the information categorised here is not all held in a single physical catalogue - a system of parallel files may be a perfectly acceptable alternative. It remains, however, a part of 'catalogue' information.

The first category is the formal identification of the recording catalogued: formal identification is identification made accurately within the rules and practices established by the archive, as distinct from the simple identification made at registration. What constitutes correct identification will vary with the material collected: an archive of commercial recordings will use the title that appears on the item catalogued, where an archive of wildlife recordings will use the correct scientific designation of the species recorded and an oral history collection the name of the person interviewed.

Since the formal primary identification of the recording may not actually be very informative, a major part of catalogue information consists of the elaboration of that identification. For collections of commercial recordings, this will generally approximate to the procedures traditional to the cataloguing of published material -the linking of title to statements of responsibility (i.e. the identification of composers or authors, performers, etc.). Collections of non-commercial recordings will have different priorities, depending on the nature of the material collected. Ethnomusicology recordings, for example, which may be identified in the first instance by the name of their collector, will require as additional information geographic (or linguistic or anthropological, or a combination of these) indications of the circumstances of the recording, including a date, and information on what was recorded. An archive collecting the proceedings of a national legislature would require information identifying the session (day and time), the topic and the speakers in a debate or committee, with, perhaps, reference to the published (transcribed) proceedings.

The purpose of providing this level of information is, first, to make unambiguous the identification of the recording (to establish, in other words, that an item is not merely a recording of Stravinsky's 'The Rite of Spring' but is the recording made by a particular orchestra and conductor on a specified occasion) and, second, to provide sufficient detail to enable an interested potential user to assess whether or not a recording contains material appropriate to his or her interests. Thus in the field of material culture a catalogue entry should make clear exactly which processes are being explained and from what perspective; in oral history, the catalogue links an interview to topics, and shows how the person interviewed relates to them. Reading the catalogue cannot be a substitute for using the collection, but a catalogue should ensure that the collection is not wastefully used and that the user's interests are matched to the material listened to as precisely as possible. This will commonly mean that users are guided not merely to specific recordings, but to specific sections of recordings. Lengthy items (especially those generated by field workers) are divided into sections -reels, timed passages, audibly-signalled segments -and the divisions reflected in the catalogue summary or synopsis.

Further categories of catalogue information include technical data on the recording, indicating the form in which it was first recorded and the form in which it would be made available to users. An archive covering more than one language will need to specify the language of recordings. The circumstances of the production of the recording would be included as subsidiary information when they do not form part of the full or elaborated identification; details of acquisition are similarly covered. This information overlaps into the question of copyright and other restrictions on access to, or use of, the material. Finally, an archive will wish to establish connections between the recording catalogued and related material such as further recordings, transcripts, related documents (photographs or text connected with the item catalogued) and bibliographic citations.

It will readily be seen that a catalogue entry providing all of the information suggested in this section will be a lengthy document in its own right. It will also be appreciated that by no means all of these details need (or indeed should) be available to all readers of the catalogue. This is best exemplified in the area of technical information. For the purposes of its own technical staff, and perhaps for professional or commercial users, an archive will need extensive details on the recording, including perhaps the machinery, tape and configuration used in the original recording. For a casual user, however, the knowledge that all recordings are made available on stereo cassette 'listening copies' might make the entire category of technical information redundant in a version of the catalogue provided for general access or sale. To take another example, the question of restriction may involve information confidential to the archive and the person concerned with the recording, when all a user need know is that there are (or are not) restrictions. These considerations underline the statement made earlier, that the product of the cataloguing process need not be a single catalogue. The provision of separate 'internal' and 'external' catalogues, or the supplementing of an open catalogue with restricted files of detailed technical or confidential information, would be acceptable, indeed logical, procedures. The essential qualification, of course, is that cross-reference between all sources of information be quick and precise. This is guaranteed by the use of a single unambiguous label to identify the recording wherever it is mentioned; the accession number is the obvious choice for such a label.


In providing the information outlined in the previous section, an archive's cataloguers are only fulfilling a part of their function. If uncatalogued material is effectively useless (since an archive and its users may be unaware of its content in any but the most elementary sense, and may indeed be virtually unaware of its existence) then material on which information is solely available in an unindexed catalogue is only slightly more open to use. Knowledge of items relevant to particular needs will only be gained from such a catalogue by prolonged searching, by accidental discovery, or by a fortunate feat of memory by a member of the cataloguing staff. None of these constitutes a reliable basis for an archive's service.

Indexes and classification systems are provided to open up the archive by providing access points and channels to the information available in the catalogue and -by extension -in the collection itself. Additional access points are provided by sorting the information in the catalogue, or extracts from it, in alternative orders: thus a catalogue of classical music, catalogued by title, would usefully be supplemented by indexes of composers, performers and so on. Channels to information are provided by the establishment of a logical structure of indexing vocabulary and styles, so that cataloguers and researchers can be instructed to consider the collection in similar terms. For example, the same archive of classical music might wish to provide an index by chronological period. In such a case, the information would be directed into the channels by the decision either to name periods by actual year or century designations, or by epoch titles such as 'High Renaissance' and 'Baroque'. The nature of the decision taken is arguably of less importance than the fact that the decision is taken and consistently applied. It does not matter too much whether a period is called 'Nineteenth Century' or 'Victorian'; it matters a great deal if, on different occasions, it is called both (and a number of other names besides) so that a user looking up only one term will fail to find all relevant information.

The number and nature of the indexes provided by an archive will depend on many things, including the resources of the archive and the expectations of its users. The principal determining factor is the nature of the material collected. Archives of commercial recordings may concentrate on indexes of titles (which will require indexing, to restrict the potential confusion of catalogue titles in different languages or formats: 'Die Dreigroschenoper' and 'The Threepenny Opera'; 'Ninth Symphony' and 'Symphony No.9') and of authors, composers, performers, directors, etc. These concerns will be shared by collections of other types of music, such as ethnomusicology, but such collections will also share indexing requirements with other archives of field recordings -circumstances of recording, name of collector, and so on. Different types of field recording will have different priorities -place, for example, which is essential to collectors of dialect, linguistic and wildlife recordings, for example, is generally considered to be of only peripheral interest in oral history. Oral history and other essentially narrative recordings, however, require analysis by subject content -an area where vocabulary control and the structuring of an index are at the same time most important and most complex.

The style of index provided will also vary. In some archives and some circumstances, the preferred procedure is to reproduce effectively the bulk of the catalogue description for the relevant item at every entry in the index; in others, the index term is merely followed by a list of accession numbers for appropriate recordings. In some cases, attempts have been made to use extant bibliographic classification systems -such as Dewey or the Universal Decimal Classification -as a ready-made system of vocabulary control for subject indexing, while other archives use their own system of 'natural language' index terms. In a general chapter such as this one, there can be no real attempt to specify that any given solution is correct, or better than another: the choice between numeric classification codes and natural language, for example, is the choice between a system which comes ready-developed, but may prove difficult to use (because of the need to translate index statements and enquiries into number-strings), and a system whose development must be carefully planned and monitored but which may seem more accessible and 'friendly' to staff and users.

A final factor in the question of indexes to supplement or make accessible the archive's cataloguing effort is the provision of something like the indexing function through mechanisation or computerisation. At its most highly developed, technology may contradict the statements made in the first paragraph of this section: catalogue information may be held in a data-base which can be interrogated 'on line' via a computer terminal, so that physical indexes are not apparently necessary. A later section of this chapter will look at the topic of computer systems.

3. National and international standards

Most of what has so far been written has been written as if a sound archive will be established, and will be left to develop its documentation policy, in an atmosphere of almost complete freedom of choice. This will, of course, never be true. The material about which an archive is offering information will be considered by its users and others in a context which includes what is available from other institutions, and the documentation will consequently be planned under the pressures of precedent and example. Such pressures may come from several directions. A sound archive may, for example, be established within an institution which already contains a reference collection in other media -books, manuscript documents, photographs, film or museum objects and will then experience pressure to conform to procedures observed in extant collections. There may, for instance, be an institutional or national policy committed to usage of one of the MARC-derived systems. There will then be the pressure of example - the inclination to follow the methods of other sound archives which the new archive has been created to emulate or complement. There is, finally, the pressure of emergent international standards promoted by international groupings of appropriate disciplines - for example the International Standard Bibliographic Description for Non-Book Materials, or ISBD(NBM), published by the International Federation of Library Associations.

In many cases, the advantages of adhering to a standard will be obvious. Within an institution, for example, a unified cataloguing system would help ensure that users had access to all material relevant to their interests in several media -an instrument and a recording of how it sounds when played, an industrial machine and an explanation of its use, etc. Similarly, and especially in the field of commercial recordings, adherence to an international descriptive standard will help users discover the information that may be most important to them -that is, the extent to which one archive duplicates or fills the gaps in the collection of another.

There are, however, two potential dangers which should always cause an archive carefully to consider the full implications before accepting the use of a given standard. One is that the standard proposed may not, without change, be applicable to the medium of sound recordings; the second is that it may not be applicable to the specific type of material collected by the archive. The ISBD(NBM) may be used as an example: although designed as a framework for information exchange rather than as a system for archival cataloguing, the desirability of consistency in the documentation of commercial recordings inevitably makes ISBD a subject of great interest for cataloguers of sound material. In 1980, a joint working group of the Cataloguing Commission of the International Association of Music Libraries and the Cataloguing Committee of the International Association of Sound Archives submitted to IFLA detailed recommendations for the improvement of ISBD(NBM) as applied to sound recordings. Points requested by the working party included, for example, the elaboration of rules in ISBD(NBM) governing responsibility statements and physical description, and of cautionary notes concerning the application to sound recordings of the concepts of 'editions' and 'series'. These points are additional to those acknowledged in the ISBD itself: that it is primarily concerned with 'materials published in multiple copies' and excludes 'specimens or found objects' (which category may be taken to include field recordings), and that it 'may require elaboration' to meet the requirements of archives.

ISBD(NBM) is far from unique in any of these respects. Like it, most cataloguing standards derive from the world of librarianship, and many are, for example, not compatible with the sound archivist's perception of 'responsibility' (multiple, and shared between author and performers) as distinct from the more conventional concept of authorship. Outside the field of commercial recordings, the problem may well get worse. Geared to titles and responsibility, standards may not cater adequately for the preferred identifications of field recordings, and may not accommodate the desirable level of description for such works. While, therefore, adherence to standards is an admirable target for sound archive cataloguing, a new archive should be entitled critically to examine the specific applicability of any single proposed standard to its cataloguing needs, and to seek necessary improvements in the standard as an alternative to compromising its own practices.

4. Computer systems

A further dimension to the questions discussed in the previous section, and a topic of increasing general relevance in any case, is the possibility of the involvement of mechanisation or computerisation in cataloguing. Computers are becoming more accessible year by year: the equipment itself is becoming cheaper, and there is an increasing choice of program packages for computer applications, including cataloguing. The only dimension lacking, perhaps, is a realistic appraisal of what computer usage mayor may not really involve.

Mechanisation has always been one way of reducing the drudgery of documentation. Even at a simple level, the use of stencils or photocopies to produce multiple copies, in whole or in part, of a catalogue entry can be one way of cutting down the clerical labour of generating several index entries. Full computerisation develops this advantage a stage further by removing the task of index compilation altogether. From a properly compiled catalogue entry, a good computer system will automatically generate all the indexes required with little or no further human effort. More, it will provide selective listings to suit special needs (it may, in fact, ultimately offer the facility of 'on line' dialogue between users and the catalogue data-base, virtually removing the need for indexes altogether)J it will also facilitate, through the technology of computer type-setting, the production of published catalogues.

Inevitably, for these advantages, there is a price to pay. Indeed, there may be three prices to pay, only one of which directly involves money. That one is, of course, the cost of the system. The others are restrictions on cataloguing procedures, and the changed nature of the actual task of cataloguing.

The first two are intimately connected: in crude terms, at present, the cheaper the cataloguing package, the more compromises an archive is likely to have to accept in its procedures. Since few computer packages have so far been tailored directly to sound archive needs, a sound archive is likely to have to use a package developed for other purposes or to develop its own. Access to an extant cataloguing package may quite possibly be among the more positive inducements for a new archive to conform to an institutional or national standard. The majority of such packages, however, are those designed for library purposes, and the involvement of a computer tends to intensify those difficulties already noted in cataloguing a sound archive to a library standard: for example, a computer system may be incapable of accepting more than a set number of 'responsibility' statements or a descriptive summary of adequate length, or of generating indexes from field recording details. On the other hand, the conversion, development or design of a more suitable package is likely to require access to skills which will not be available within the majority of sound archives, and can only be brought in from outside at some expense.

The third category of price to pay is the actual nature of work involved in cataloguing. It will be remembered that when it was claimed that a good computer system could automatically generate all necessary indexes, the significant qualification 'from a properly compiled catalogue' was added. A computer system is only as good as the information entered into it, and (unless time and money is to be spent on expensive error-checking procedures within the computer) the effect is that that information must be of the highest possible degree of accuracy and consistency, and on occasions of great apparent triviality as well. Human cataloguers will recognise that 'HMV' and 'H.M.V.' and 'His Master's Voice' are effectively synonyms, but to the majority of computer systems they would be totally distinct terms; similarly, human cataloguers may cope without effort with alphabetical filing conventions concerning the ordering of numbers and abbreviations, or the ignoring of opening definite or indefinite articles, but such details must be explained in some way to the computer. The price paid for trouble-free indexing, in other words, is more troublesome cataloguing and particularly more painstaking checking and proof-reading of catalogue information.

This is not intended to sound unduly pessimistic. Several archives are successfully using computers in their cataloguing, as the case studies show. It is, however, essential to be realistic, and especially to doubt the salesmanlike claims of anyone who alleges that computerisation will be cheap, or easy, or just like conventional procedures or (as is not unknown) all three simultaneously.

5. Staff

From the points raised so far, it will appear that three areas of expertise could be appropriate backgrounds to the staff of a sound archive's cataloguing section librarianship or archivism (reflecting the priorities given to standardisation), relevant subject knowledge to the archive's areas of specialisation, and information science or computing skills.

In effect, the expertise associated with information science is not that most appropriate to the routine work of cataloguing in most sound archives, although access to such expertise (on a consultancy basis) can be of great value, especially to an archive establishing its cataloguing system. Similar arguments, it may be noted, apply to computer expertise, even for archives contemplating a computerised system. The priorities and budget of an archive are unlikely to encompass the establishment of a team of systems analysts and programmers -such a team would be severely under-employed. A single expert may be more necessary (especially, say, in an archive using a complex or on-line system) but reliance on an individual leaves an institution vulnerable to that individual's departure. It is better policy to seek to establish, with outside help as appropriate, procedures sufficiently routine for the archive's normal staff to manage.

In choosing between staff trained in librarianship or archivism and subject experts, an archive will be affected by the types of material it collects. Professional training has undoubted values, and significantly lessens the archive's own tasks in training new staff in relevant skills. On the other hand, the cataloguing of some types of sound material is likely to require abilities other than those of conventional cataloguers. Much book cataloguing consists of the interpretative transcription of information available from the book's title page; the cataloguing of many sound recordings, however, requires that the cataloguer listen to the material and provide an intelligent analysis of what is heard. Appropriate knowledge of the subject concerned is therefore of greater value than general cataloguing skill, and it may justifiably be felt that it is a shorter task to instil the principles of good cataloguing in a subject expert than to give a useful grounding in the subject to a trained cataloguer. The choice of qualifications will thus depend on the material collected and the type of cataloguing system used. An archive of commercial recordings, or of field recordings well-documented by their collectors, especially if using a library-derived cataloguing system, may justifiably select trained librarians; an archive of unique material will be better advised to look to subject experts. Individuals combining both backgrounds, of course, should be made particularly welcome.

Similar considerations dictate the answer to the question of the appropriate size for an archive's cataloguing section. The rate of growth of the archive, the cataloguing system employed, the types of use of the collection, and (in the case of an archive of field recordings) the contribution made by non-cataloguing staff are all critical factors. Those archives who supplied the examples used in the case-studies below were also asked to supply notes on staff levels: of the archives collecting primarily for research purposes non-commercial recordings, documentation staff never surpassed three, often with duties other than cataloguing, and in no case was this considered entirely sufficient; in all cases, it should also be noted, some of the burden of documentation was shared by field workers. Archives of commercial recordings can normally accommodate much larger accession rates with similar sizes of staff, but even so may feel that larger cataloguing sections would be useful. Broadcasting archives, in a world of day-by-day commercial pressure, may have documentation staffs that seem by contrast enormous: the Dutch broadcasting service NOS has in excess of 15 in its various departments. Cataloguing, it seems, remains an undervalued task except in collections that depend commercially on their ability to retrieve material from their collections. Those setting up new archives might be encouraged for their own sakes to make a more balanced assessment of priorities.

6. Case studies

Collections of oral history recordings

Case Study: Imperial War Museum, London, England.

(a) Collection

The Museum's collection comprises over 6,000 hours, 90% of which is speech, consisting mainly of oral history interviews conducted by Museum staff and of broadcast material. The remainder consists of music, sound effects, etc.

(b) Cataloguing Staff

Cataloguing is the primary responsibility of two graduate staff, who also have other duties; they receive advice from the Museum's Department of Information Retrieval. Occasional use is made of 'casual' staff (i.e. staff on short-term appointments), and increasingly of contributions to the documentation of their own interview material by oral history field workers (see gi below).

(c) Catalogue

Within the Museum, catalogue information is accessible on computer-output microfiches which replace a card catalogue. Catalogues to completed oral history projects (see gii) and to other coherent sub-collections are published as part of the Department of Sound Records' public service.

(d) Catalogue System

The sound records collection is included in the scope of the Museum's overall cataloguing policy. From 1977 to 1982, the collection was catalogued using a modified version of APPARAT, a computerised system developed by the Museum initially for its film collection. From 1983, all Museum cataloguing, including sound records, will use the computer package GOS developed by the Museum Documentation Association. Catalogue information is supplemented in some cases by transcripts and personal files.

(e) Indexes

GOS will be capable of maintaining a keyword subject index in addition to a combined index of people interviewed (including name changes etc.), and of generating other indexes at need. Short listings for completed oral history projects also provide a useful tool for visiting researchers.

(f) Example

See figure 1 for a sample entry from the APPARAT microfiche; entries were arranged in accession number order.


(g) Comments

i. The number of cataloguers has not proved large enough to keep pace with the oral history acquisitions generated by the three interviewers on the Museum staff, and the freelance interviewers who are also employed. (There is of course also the non-oral history material). The two expedients mentioned in (b) above represent attempts to prevent the growth of a backlog of uncatalogued material.

ii. The Museum's oral history collection policy is geared to 'projects' of interviews on specific topics, and thus lends itself to the publication of catalogues to sub-collections. Compare with the relatively open-ended research orientation of, for example, the Welsh Folk Museum which forms the subject for the next case study.

Collections of folklife and language recordings

Case Study: Arngueddfa Werin Cyrnru (Welsh Folk Museum), Cardiff, Wales.

(a) Collection

The collection comprises over 3,750 hours, 85% of which is speech, consisting mainly of folklife recordings made by Museum staff.

(b) Cataloguing Staff

The ten or so members of the Museum staff who make field recordings (and who generate in all about 200 tapes per year) are responsible for preparing summaries of their own recordings. A central section of three people (one graduate, one assistant and one typist), who also have other responsibilities, manages all registration and central indexing work and prepares summaries for tapes that are not properly documented (see gi).

(c) Catalogue

A card catalogue is maintained within the Museum. There are no published catalogues.

(d) Catalogue System

The catalogue is based on two types of card: cards for speakers, arranged alphabetically and containing biographic information, and cards for interviews, arranged numerically and containing tape summaries. The card catalogue is supplemented by transcripts etc. (see gii).

(e) Indexes

The dual nature of the central catalogue makes it partially self-indexing. In addition, optical feature cards are used in a 'post-coordinate' indexing system controlled by a bi-lingual thesaurus of keywords developed by the Museum. Specialist indexes appropriate to their own research are generated by individual field workers.

(f) Examples

i.    The front of a speaker card is illustrated in Figure 2. (Headings are in Welsh; English translations have been supplied.) The reverse of the card lists the tapes that contain interviews with the speaker, and provides spaces to describe or evaluate the speaker's suitability for interview, usage of the Welsh language, etc. Eleven headings are provided, including 'Correctness of language'; 'Sociability'; 'Memory'; ' Pronunciation'.


Figure 2

ii Figure 3 shows the front of an interview card. The reverse of the card continues the list of contents and provides space for entries on 'Place of recording'; 'Personality and atmosphere'; 'Additional voices on tape'; 'Purpose of recording'; 'Value of recording'; 'Sound quality'.

Figure 3

(g) Comments

i. Recordings at the Amgueddfa Werin Cyrnru represent 'research in progress' for Museum staff -as distinct from, for example, the project-based work of the Imperial War Museum. The documentation supplied by field workers is therefore analogous to research notes. The central cataloguing staff is considered to be of about the right size, although a team of this size without other responsibilities would be better still.

ii. The dual card catalogue is a clever solution to a significant problem in cataloguing field recordings (especially of speech) -their tendency to generate catalogue entries of great length, which can make the design of a single catalogue card difficult. On the other hand, this system, which also includes an accession register in which some biographic information is recorded, must involve some duplication of effort. Note also the quantity of subjective evaluation anticipated by the cards. Although quite appropriate to research notes, this sort of entry would not normally be expected in a catalogue to which there was to be much public access and in fact access to the catalogue is restricted to approved users only.

Collections of wildlife recordings

Case Study: British Library of Wildlife Sounds, British Institute of Recorded Sound, London, England.

(a) Collection

A self-contained collection within the total holding of BIRS (67,000 hours), BLOWS has some 1,000 hours or 25,000 recordings covering well over 5,000 species. The collection consists of commercial recordings, copies of BBC material and privately-made recordings.

(b) Cataloguing Staff

The collection has no cataloguing staff as such, the total staff of BLOWS is one person. Documentation of non-commercial recordings relies on notes supplied by the individual responsible for the recording; BBC material relies on BBC catalogues. Overall documentation policy at BIRS is decided at Institute level (see g).

(c) Catalogue

The collection is covered by catalogue’s maintained at the Institute on cards and data sheets and by BBC Natural History Sound Archives catalogues. BLOWS publishes discographies for commercial recordings on particular subjects (e.g. African bird sound).

(d) Catalogue System

BLOWS will come within the scope of any long-term decisions taken about the cataloguing of the collections of BIRS as a whole. For the present, BLOWS documentation remains based on manual catalogues: a card catalogue for commercial recordings, and the 'Field and editing notes' data sheets developed for completion by field recordists for private recordings.

(e) Indexes

In so large a collection with so small a staff, various expedients are used to provide finding aids. Data sheets are filed by family and scientific name of species; they are thus effectively self-indexing. A separate card index is maintained for species covered by commercial recordings. BLOWS also annotates (annually) a copy of an authoritative published checklist of bird species to create a guide to its collection. Noted as desirable for inclusion when resources and capability permit are indexes by geographical location, habitat, type of sound, recordist etc.

(f) Examples

i. Field recording data sheet is illustrated as Figure 4.

Figure 4

ii. The draft of a format for a computer catalogue derived from Example i is shown [below].

Ardea cinerea GREY HERON

Calls. 1 adult and 2 or 3 juveniles. Identified visually. Calls of juveniles from nesting area and calls of departing adult.
Background Carrion Crow.
Glandyfi, Cardiganshire, Wales. Scattered trees by estuary.
29 July 1971. 05.45. 50 Metres distant. Microphone on branch with 100 metre lead.
2'.25". B quality. Uher 4000 Report L. Uher M.516. First generation copy.
Dr Philip Radford. Tape. 19 cm/sec. ½ track Mono.
Reel 1, Cut 2. No. 1710.

(g) Comments

BLOWS demonstrates the kinds of ingenious expedient to which a collection committed to the provision of an adequate public service may have to turn in the absence of adequate staffing. Preliminary studies for computerisation in the mid-1970s suggested that the preparation of data on the extant collection for entry into a new system would require two years' work by a specialist cataloguer. It has also been calculated that the current accession rate - approximately 1,000 private, 500 BBC and 100 commercial recordings per year, - would justify, funds permitting, one full-time cataloguer.

Collection of ethnomusicology and language recordings

Case Study: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, Canberra, Australia.

(a) Collection

The Institute's collection comprises over 8,000 hours, 70% of which is speech, 30% music. Material collected by anyone awarded a research grant by the Institute (including Institute staff) is deposited as a condition of such a grant; deposits from other sources are also welcomed. A range of restrictions on the use of and access to recordings is maintained by the Institute and recorded on each contract of deposit.

(b) Cataloguing Staff

Cataloguing is the responsibility of two graduate staff, both with field work experience, and one typist. All have other duties (see gi).

(c) Catalogue

Within the Institute, a card catalogue is maintained, supplemented by access from a computer terminal inside the Institute to an on-line data base. Lists of new accessions and catalogues to coherent sub-collections are published -some in microfiche format.

(d) Catalogue System

A card catalogue is used, with entries being complemented by audition sheets (which provide a detailed, timed analysis of the contents of the tape as heard), transcripts, records on restrictions etc. (see gii). Part of the collection has been catalogued using IQL (Interactive Query Language) as a pilot project.

(e) Indexes

The manual card catalogue is indexed by location of recording, song titles and series, languages and subject codes; a file of informants' names is maintained separately, and is accessible to approved users only. Under IQL, any information field contained within a catalogue entry may be the basis of an enquiry.

(f) Examples

i. The catalogue card, reproduced below is filed alphabetically under collector's name. Marginal notations give tape number and restriction indicators. Library codes indicate origins (e.g. Qld/G meaning Queensland, Gulf area), content (20A/3 meaning body painting; 19W/2 meaning discussion of song and song words), and style of performance (19VU meaning unaccompanied singing by one man, 19B an elicited performance etc.). Language names are listed at the end of the codings.

ii. The fields available for a computerised catalogue record under IQL pilot project are shown in figure 7.

Figure 5 illustrates what a full catalogue entry printed out by the computer looks like.

Figure 5

(g) Comments

i. The number of cataloguers has not proved large enough to keep pace with accessions currently estimated at circa 1,000 tapes per year. It is thought that additional clerical and typing staff could help; schemes for training Aboriginal cataloguers have also been initiated.

ii. The use of codes to standardise variant spellings of language types and to delineate 'tribal areas', the importance given to the question of restrictions on access to recordings, the provision of a catalogue field label recognising the Aboriginal concept that songs are owned not composed, and other details visible in the examples are all conspicuous reminders of the difficulty of documenting material from different cultural traditions. The IQL format developed at AIAS is a pragmatic response to these difficulties.

Collection of commercial recordings in a broadcasting archive

Case Study: Nederlandse Omroep Stichting, Hilversum, The Netherlands

(a) Collection

In a large and rapidly growing collection, a total size is difficult to estimate. In January 1981, the collection included over 200,000 discs (about 85,500 hours, 95% music) and about 180,000 tapes (about 76,000 hours, 80% music). The main archival concern is with recordings made by NOS itself. In addition to music,
the archive has oral history, folklore and sound effects collections.

(b) Cataloguing Staff

In the commercial record department, seven of a staff of twenty employees are occupied with cataloguing tasks. The tape archive has six and the oral history department has five 'reviewers' (see gi).

(c) Catalogue

An on-premises computer-output microfiche system is in use, supplementing and increasingly replacing a card catalogue. No publications have been printed as the archive has no public role.

(d) Catalogue System

Since 1975 SYFON (SYsteem FONotheek), a computerised system, has been replacing the previous card-based catalogue. Information is stored in a format devised by NOS staff. Of particular interest is the development of an alpha-numerical classification system HOUDINI providing information on genre, period, national or linguistic origin, function etc. (see gii).

(e) Indexes

Indexes are maintained for title, composer, performer, keyword, classification and (for NOS recordings) radio licensee and date. Most indexes give full information for each recording cited.

(f) Examples

i. Figure 6 shows two cards from the superseded manual catalogue, both refer to the same principal work ('Orkestsuite No.2') but provide details of different recordings of different extracts ('Badinerie' and Menuet') from that work. Note also that two recordings are listed on each card to conserve space.

ii. Figure 7 shows representative SYFON entries which are arranged by HOUDINI classification strings (see gii).

Figure 6

Figure 7

(g) Comments

i. The documentation staff complement in the tape archive is considered large and will be reduced when work is completed on the backlog of poorly documented material. The number of 'reviewers' of oral history, on the other hand, is considered low and will be increased if possible.

ii. HOUDINI would function best in circumstances where on-line interrogation of the catalogue was possible, but produces a useful classification/index for users even in off-line usage. HOUDINI classification 'strings' are made up of seven elements as follows:

The appearance of these strings may be seen at the top of figure 7; the strings may be decoded from the information just given. 00 is entered to indicate a 'null' entry for a given topic.

4. Public Access and Dissemination (Leslie Waffen)

1. Introduction

'The end of all archival effort is to preserve valuable records and make them available for use. 1 While on the surface this statement by a noted archival theorist seems quite reasonable, in practice it has far-reaching implications and ramifications and its successful application may be the most difficult dual objective for any sound archive to pursue and achieve. For some repositories of archival sound recordings, only the first part of the objective can be reached because the fundamental responsibility to ensure the survival of the collection often consumes all available resources. The challenge for a sound archive comes when it attempts to facilitate 'access and dissemination' of the archival recordings that are being so diligently acquired and preserved.

The main principle on which this chapter is based is that the primary function of a sound archive is not the collection and preservation of recorded sound as such, but the service of scholars and other archive users. Preservation of sound recordings has little value per se. The primary value is in the use of the material and a sound archive exists to foster that use.

In providing access to archival sound recordings and making them available for use, a sound archive should follow the basic principles and policies that have been developed for general archival and manuscript collections. A considerable body of literature and archival theory is available on the subject of access and dissemination and readers may consult the chapter bibliography for these sources. It is only necessary here to state the standard principles advocated by archives and manuscript libraries that should also be followed by a sound archive or institution with archival sound recordings in its custody. Namely:

Develop a written statement on access policies.

Provide archival materials to researchers on equal terms of access.

Establish user, research, and duplication fees where necessary.

Provide for security and physical protection of archival holdings.

Publicize archival holdings and services.

Apply and enforce restrictions on access and use.

While these general principles are recommended as an excellent starting point, the specialized nature of archival sound recordings and their specific needs in terms of preservation, conservation and maintenance require additional guidelines so that the normal access and reference services that are expected of any archive can be provided.

The guidelines on access and use of archival sound recordings considered in this chapter are applicable whether the recorded sound collection is composed of 'published' recordings (i.e. commercially marketed, mass produced, multiple-copy recordings) or 'unpublished' recordings (such as oral history interviews, field recordings and radio broadcasts). They can be applied or adapted by all types of sound archives whether general or special in subject, local or national in scope, private or governmental in nature. It should be noted that all of the guidelines on access and use may not be practicable in every circumstance for every sound archive. It is hoped, however, that the implementation of the guidelines and recommendations will be seriously considered and treated as a goal to be strived for.

  1. Schellenberg, T.R. Modern Archives: Principles and Techniques; Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1956; p.224

2. Types of access services

The services to be offered by a sound archive may range from the minimum of providing basic listening facilities on the premises for individual visitors to the maximum of preparing edited audio productions and programs from the archival holdings for distribution. The nature and extent of the services provided will be governed and shaped by many factors including staff and budget, overall institutional policies, restrictions on the use of certain recordings and the preservation status of the original recordings in the collection.

3. Internal services

Internal services are fundamental and traditionally have three facets: providing information about and from the collection; providing research room listening facilities; providing for the duplication of recordings.

Information services

Information about the holdings must be available on the premises for individual users. The information may take various forms. An information sheet, brochure or pamphlet should be provided to explain the services available. General information should be given on research hours, regulations on research room use, an outline of holdings, specific copyright restrictions, a statement of duplication policy, instructions for ordering copies and on the use of playback equipment and finding aids. The principle finding aids such as shelf lists, inventories and card indexes which normally provide administrative control of holdings, should be made available to all researchers. This is especially true for basic documentation such as shelf lists that are often prepared. These primitive but essential finding aids often become a primary reference tool for researchers since full content cataloguing of sound recordings' in archives is rarely completely achieved. As a general rule all finding aids should be open to all researchers irrespective of restrictions on access that may apply to the recordings they refer to.

A substantial part of a basic reference service lies in answering inquiries received by telephone or mail. This is a necessary service that must be provided but may be limited by lack of staff or other resources. Normally the sound archive staff should be able to provide information about recordings (i.e. does the archive have a recording on a certain subject or event or of a particular person, song or title?) but may draw the line and limit the service when asked to provide information from the recordings (i.e. listening to selections or parts of recordings so as to identify speakers or composers or to furnish detailed discographical information).

In addition to the administrative finding aids generated by a sound archive, there may be other descriptive materials that will be of great use to researchers in recorded sound such as scripts, production files, personal papers, musical scores, recording company ledgers, registers and corporate files. This type of information is often essential for a researcher and as archivally important as the recordings themselves. A sound archive should therefore strive at the time of acquisition not only to obtain the actual sound recordings but also any textual material that relates to or forms an integral part in the creation of the recordings.

Listening facilities

If a sound archive can accomplish nothing else, it must provide access to its holdings for individual researchers through some type of listening facility. Normally this will involve establishing a research room or area dedicated to user access and consultation. The research room usually is a supervised area where archive visitors are registered, use finding aids, consult with sound archive staff about holdings and listen to copies of recordings at carrels or tables equipped with playback equipment and headphones. It is often helpful to have listening room procedures and policies spelled out on a standard form to be read and signed by visitors. Written procedures and guidelines for the research room are also valuable in providing guidance and on-the-job training for the sound archive staff. This saves their time and speeds their response to inquiries. It may also be necessary to require listening appointments in advance and to limit the quantity of recordings requested in a single day by anyone researcher. The guideline here should be to provide a reference service on a daily basis limited only by the number of playback units or by the trained staff available to handle the requests. A balance between providing staff time for other archival functions, such as cataloguing, description and arrangement, should be strived for but reference service should have the highest priority, second only to the preservation of the collection.

It is important to recognize that setting up a listening facility will necessitate that the sound archive establishes an access policy that coincides with and will not compromise its preservation policies. Ideally, therefore, original sound recordings must not be handled or played by or for researchers. Proper preservation of archival sound recordings must take precedence over the needs of research. This policy may in some instances delay immediate user access to recordings but playing an original recording, such as a fragile unique disc, for one individual could destroy or damage the item forever.1

Several procedures are available and in use at various sound archives which will allow free access to researchers for listening purposes but still provide for the preservation of the original archival recordings. For most sound archives~ this requires that a listening or study copy of original recordings be prepared. Ideally the listening copy should be generated at the same time as the original recording is duplicated and a preservation tape is made. (Some sound archives now prepare the listening copy on inexpensive audio cassettes which are convenient for researcher use and take up little storage space.) Where listening copies do not exist then gradually, over a period of time and based upon preservation needs and researcher requests, a collection of original recordings can be duplicated both for preservation and research use.

For other sound archives, a less than ideal compromise is reached by original recordings being played for the researcher by sound archives staff. This is accomplished by having listening points separate from playback equipment. Researchers request recordings and listen through earphones while playback is controlled in another area by archive staff.

The ideal reference situation and the recommended procedure is to allow the user to listen to a tape copy of original recordings and control the tape playback equipment. In this way, researchers in using the equipment itself or by using remote control capabilities available on virtually all semi-professional and professional tape decks, can determine exactly which segment of the recording they wish to hear. The researcher can stop, reverse, repeat, and in general is able to work through recordings. There are many obvious advantages for a sound archive to adopt this method of providing access. Not only does it benefit the user and save archive staff time, but it preserves the original which is not subjected to repeated playings and possible abuse through handling by researchers or staff. Providing listening copies also prevents theft and allows for maximum security of the archival recordings, which should be stored in a different location from the listening facility.

Regarding the type of listening and playback equipment to be used, the basic guideline is that the research equipment be durable, reliable and able to reproduce recordings faithfully. Compromises on the quality of playback equipment used in a listening facility may be necessary. However, a sound archive should not concentrate all of its financial resources and technical staff on recording or copying original material on professional equipment and producing high-quality listening copies, then to discover it can only provide its researchers with inferior grade, poorly maintained playback equipment and headphones.

Such poor planning and disregard for the archive users actually does a disservice to the recordings being preserved which cannot then be heard as they were meant to be.

  1. The only time access to and actual handling of original recordings may be allowed, and then only under supervision, is for the researcher who is studying the physical object and its composition, or who needs to examine the different types of recordings for identification and authentication.

Duplication of recordings

Every sound archive needs a policy and procedure for making copies of archival sound recordings for researchers. This is a fundamental service that must be provided. It is made necessary by the fact that the greatest obstacle · for the user to research in recorded sound lies in obtaining copies of required recordings. Duplication policy will, of course, depend on the nature of the collection, its preservation status, restrictions by donors on certain recordings and the copyright limitations on use that may exist within a particular country. However, within these limitations which are faced by all sound archives, a policy statement is needed outlining what will or will not be copied and backed up by procedures for making copies available once permissions are secured by the researcher.

There are several ways to provide copies of recordings when requested. Most often a duplication service, either in-house or by contract with an outside source, can be established to make tape duplicates for purchase either in a reel-to-reel or cassette format at prices to be established by the sound archive. An adequate and equitable price schedule can be formulated by charging the researcher for the cost of the tape stock, reel and box plus an additional charge for the recording engineer's time to produce the duplicate copy. Mailing, shipping, and handling charges must also be accounted for in the final costs to the researcher.

A duplication service normally requires that original recordings (whether disc, tape, wire, cylinder, etc.) be recorded, so that an additional copy is available from which duplicates can be made for researchers. The guiding principle to be followed is that just as original recordings or archival copies should not be played for or by researchers, they also must not be played repeatedly to produce duplicates. On heavily used or requested items (say more than five times) it may be advisable to prepare more than one copy for use in making duplicates for archive users.

In lieu of producing copies of recordings for purchase some sound archives, for example the Sound Section of the Public Archives of Canada, allow researchers to provide the blank tape which is used by the archive to make the requester's copy. In addition to providing a duplication service, the Motion Picture, Sound and Video Branch at the US National Archives in Washington DC, allows researchers to record their own copies of non-restricted recordings directly from listening copies played on its research room equipment. The visitor need only provide his own tape and recording equipment. Staff technical time and archive recording equipment can thus be used more effectively while the researcher is able inexpensively to obtain copies of recordings for study and research. These are examples of duplication procedures which aim to provide the maximum access and use of archival sound recordings at the minimum cost and inconvenience to the user.

When duplication is permissible and offered as a basic reference service then, on the basis of staff and equipment resources, a sound archive must determine whether to produce copies of segments or excerpts of recordings as needed by researchers or only to provide copies of entire reels. For some sound archives, because of the high volume of requests for duplication, it has been found to be impractical to provide copies of excerpts of recordings and a policy has been established to allow researchers to select for purchase only full reels. For extensively used collections with heavy research traffic, full-reel copying allows the archive to utilize high speed duplicating equipment thus effectively lowering the cost of tape duplicates since excessive time and labor is not required by archive technical staff to locate and record numerous segments or excerpts. A requested item is simply placed on high speed duplicators and the entire reel is quickly and cheaply reproduced. This method of duplication has been found to speed response time to researchers' orders and to be less expensive overall for the user.

4. External services

Once the basic access and reference services are provided, a sound archive may branch out into auxiliary or development services which will include various forms of dissemination and distribution of its collection. These external services are a legitimate and necessary sound archive function. They serve to advertise and stimulate further demand for access and are a positive exploitation of archival holdings. These services are:

 (a) Publications
A sound archive should strive to produce a general guide to the entire recorded sound holdings in its custody.1 Traditionally, such a guide is arranged by collections or accessions where a brief content description of each collection is provided noting the number of items, the primary subject coverage and the date the collection spans. The sound archive may also issue special lists of recordings based upon subject, event or speaker, for example, or it may produce discographies of certain composers, musicians or vocalists. 2 It may even be possible simply to reproduce and publish in microfilm or book form the sound archive's internal card catalog,3 or to furnish inexpensive hardcopy printouts of an automated catalogue of holdings.

To announce new accessions a sound archive may consider distributing a periodic newsletter, or issuing press releases describing newly acquired collections and their availability.

(b) Exhibitions

A sound archive may wish to provide copies of selected recordings and descriptive materials for use in exhibitions. It is often possible to furnish high quality photo facsimiles of original recordings which provide the visual exhibit matching the audio item being used. Under special circumstances and proper safeguards, to prevent environmental damage, loss or theft, a sound archive may permit the use of original recordings as display artefacts. The sharing of archival sound documents in cooperative exhibits with other archives and libraries can serve the dual purpose of disseminating knowledge and appreciation of the history of recorded sound as well as advertizing the sound archive's holdings.

(c) Loan and Sales Services

In addition to providing copies of recordings for individual users on a sales basis through the research room or by mail order, a sound archive may institute arrangements with other institutions, such as schools or libraries, to lend copies of its recordings. It may be possible to utilize and become part of an existing inter-library loan procedure or develop regional or national lending schemes. The principle to be adhered to is that loans be made to other sound archives, libraries or research institutions and not to private individuals.

It should be noted that a loan program, while highly desirable in providing wide dissemination, almost always requires separate staff to control, handle and process loan requests. A separate inspection procedure is also required to check outgoing and returned loan copies.

(d) Collaborative Research Projects

It may be possible for a sound archive to develop arrangements with university history, music or media departments to encourage teachers and their students to work with particular collections of recordings. Archival projects involving arrangement and description may be developed by sound archives and geared for students working under the supervision of teachers and archives personnel. Specific projects could be designed, such as to investigate a certain composer's work or to examine a particular speaker's or vocalist's style. Projects of this kind serve the academic and educational institutions and foster the use of recorded sound, while also providing the archive with identification and descriptive information for cataloging purposes. If the project work is properly structured and managed, what sound archive does not need its holdings rearranged, shifted, consolidated, labelled, rejacketed and inspected? These basic projects are excellent for volunteer and student-intern programs.

(e) Programs for Teaching and Broadcast Use

A method of dissemination of enormous potential for sound archives is to arrange with educational publishers to produce edited audio or multi-media packages utilizing archival sound recordings as teaching aids. Independent audiovisual producers and radio stations may also be willing to prepare programs or series for broadcast use based on archival holdings.

(f) Institutional Exchanges and Transfers

It is recommended that a sound archive develops a policy for the exchange or transfer of sound recordings with other archives or research institutions. This policy may range from covering the simple transfer of original recordings from one archive to another (either because such recordings strengthen, fill in or complete a collection, or the items cover a topic, artist, or special subject concentrated on in one particular archive) to more complicated agreements covering the exchange of duplicates that often accumulate among published recordings in an archive's holdings. 4 The result of exchanges and transfers between archives ultimately benefit research needs by providing for the consolidation of collections or by making recordings more widely available in different locations. With transfers of original recordings, the transferring sound archive must be careful to obtain the concurrence of the donors or owners of the material and the receiving archive to respect any restrictions involved.

(g) National and International Cataloguing Projects

As a sound archive develops internal finding aids and catalogues its archival sound recordings, it should disseminate this information by becoming part of cooperative efforts with other archives and libraries to create a compatible data base of descriptive information on recorded sound. 5 Efforts in this direction are already underway. For example, in the United States, five major sound archives have developed a project to produce a union catalogue of pre-LP discs (78s) held by the institutions. 6

  1. Good examples are Gagne, J. (Comp.) Sound Archives Section: Inventory of Main Holdings; Ottawa: Public Archives of Canada; 1979 and Bray, M. and Waffen, L.C. Sound Recordings in the Audiovisual Archives Division of the National Archives; Washington: National Archives; 1972.
  2. See for example the select lists issued by the National Archives of the United States, Sound Recordings: Voices 0 World War II, 1937-194.5 (1971); The Crucial Decade: Voices of the Postwar Era, 1945-1954 (1978); an Captured German Sound Recordings (1979).  The Finnish Institute of Recorded Sound in Helsinki published valuable discographies of Finnish artists on American record labels, and the British Institute of Recorded Sound has issued artist discographies of many kinds in its quarterly Recorded Sound journal.
  3. A sampling would be Cluley, L. and Engelbrecht, P. (Eds.) Dictionary Catalog of the G. Robert Vincent Voice Library at Michigan State University; Boston: G.K. Gall; 1975; Museum of Broadcasting Subject Guide to the Radio and Television Collection of the Museum of Broadcasting Second Edition 1979 produced from the Museum’s database. Also an excellent model of an automated catalogue is that issued by the Institute of Jazz Studies, Rutgers University, 135 Bradley Hall, Newark, NJ 07102 USA which produces the IJS Jazz Register and Indexes on microfiche providing access by performer, group, title of selection, composer, arranger, label name, and issue number.
  4. There are numerous examples of this service among sound archives. In 1948, a rare collection of 3500 wax and dictaphone cylinders of field recordings of native American Indian music, known as the Frances Densmore Collection, was transferred by the National Archives of the United States to the Archive of Folk Song at the Library of Congress. In L978, the Library of Congress and Country Music Foundation in Nashville, Tennessee, with the necessary legal-clearances, established an ongoing exchange program covering disc duplicates of Armed Forces Radio(AFRS) broadcast recordings. In addition, although not widely publicized, many sound archives have arrangements with established dealers, organizations, and companies for the exchange of unrestricted surplus and duplicate recordings in return for recordings the archives need.
  5. Such an international data base does not yet exist for archival collections of sound recordings. An excellent model, however, for sound archives to follow would be RISM, the cooperative international project to produce a catalogue of printed music published before 1801.
  6. The five institutions (Library of Congress, New York Public Library, Stanford University, Syracuse University, and Yale University) termed the Associated Audio Archives (AAA), have completed a pilot project and a comprehensive report under the auspices of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC). Funding to begin the project, involving over 600,000 pre-'LP' recordings, has been obtained. The two to three year project will be administered by ARSC.

5. Restrictions on the use of recordings

Generally, providing basic reference and access services to a collection of sound recordings will present few insurmountable problems. Most professionally staffed sound archives will be able to develop procedures to handle telephone and postal inquiries, disseminate information about its holdings and provide an in-house listening service. The greatest obstacle occurs when the researcher wishes to obtain copies of recordings. When this happens considerable legal, institutional and financial problems often surface and interfere with the researcher's rights to access and use. Research in recorded sound can be seriously hampered by the complexity of legal problems involved with duplication requests. Not only do copyright laws, which vary from country to country, become involved, but recordings often have other restrictions on use placed upon them by the donor, owner or by institutional policies (for example, many broadcast organizations restrict access to their program archives and allow in-house broadcasting use only). For sound recordings in music archives especially, the plethora of possible restrictions and the number of permissions required can seem almost overwhelming to the researcher.

In devising procedures to assist access and at the same time enforce restrictions on use, many sound archives provide duplication of recordings based upon the general premise of whether the request is for commercial or non-commercial use. Non-commercial use normally involves requests for one copy for personal use, private research and study, or educational and classroom uses. Commercial use encompasses practically all other requests, such as use for broadcast, public presentation, further duplication, transmission or sale. The general principle to be stressed, however, is that the sound archive should provide its users with the widest access possible without infringing the owner's rights. That is to say protection of rights that may reside in a recording must be balanced against such researchers' rights as exist to have and use recorded sound materials.

To establish and enforce a viable policy of duplication, since sound archives often do not hold the rights to recordings in their custody, it is vitally necessary to obtain wherever possible full documentation of use restrictions at the time the recordings are acquired. This documentation should clearly explain the rights involved and the terms of access and use, especially regarding future duplication. Having this information available helps to crystallize and buttress an access and duplication policy. Not having this information, or not stressing the need for it to be obtained, leads to important collections of archival sound recordings being closed to research use because the archive either accepted unreasonable restrictions or did not clarify what rights were involved and who should be contacted for clearances. The net result is an unnecessary and unwarranted protection of undefined donor's rights and, thereby, a violation of the researcher's right of access and use.

In accepting restrictions on the use of recordings, it is recommended that any which go beyond those imposed by law be subject to some limitation in time, so that all sound recordings that are preserved will eventually be open for use and duplication. If a donor or owner insists on unreasonable or discriminatory restrictions on use, a sound archive should hesitate to accession the recordings. It may be difficult to justify the preservation, particularly at public expense, of recordings that the archive may never be able to make available to its users.

When there is a valid restriction on use and the researcher is required to obtain letters of permission prior to duplication, it is a sound archive's responsibility to assist the researcher by providing current information, where possible, of the names and addresses of those to be contacted. Determining ownership of copyright and doing the research necessary to locate the copyright holder is, however, the researcher's responsibility.

In applying and enforcing restrictions, it is helpful for the sound archive to develop a standard form which can be used by the researcher to secure permissions. This form will help ensure that the archive will have all the pertinent information needed in convenient format to make a decision on providing duplicates.

When no information is on file regarding duplication, it may be necessary for the sound archive to require that the permission of all persons who took part in a recording (or their, heirs or estates) be obtained. If this proves impossible after reasonable efforts on the researcher's part (as defined by the sound archive), it is recommended that before a copy of the recording is released an indemnification form be signed by the researcher thereby absolving the archive of responsibility and liability, reiterating that there are or may be rights inherent in the recording, and placing the responsibility of how the copy is used on the researcher. (EDITOR'S NOTE: Though this is a useful expedient, its legality in any particular country should first be established.)

On any tap's copy made for researchers, it is a good policy for a sound archive to affix, both visually on the container and aurally on the recordings, a statement as to the restrictions that apply to its further duplication and use. This is especially necessary in countries where copyright laws and statutes are applicable to sound recordings.

In summary, where restrictions are imposed and clearances needed prior to duplication, a sound archive has an obligation to notify researchers of the terms of access and to maintain adequate files documenting agreements of deposit. Permission and release forms and other records relating to the use of the archive's recordings should also be retained.

5. Broadcasting (Tony Trebble with Mark Jones)

1. Introduction

The purpose of this chapter is to suggest how a sound archive may be organised within a broadcasting organisation. It is presumed that the recordings will have been made by the organisation itself, and that a collection of commercial recordings will be organised separately. However, it is recognised that the two collections may be managed as one unit and this essay should be read in conjunction with that on commercial recordings elsewhere in this volume.

Archives of sound recordings in broadcasting organisations were not developed until the middle nineteen-thirties, when recording techniques began to be used in radio production. From the beginnings of radio the essence of the new medium was the simultaneous transmission and reception of the broadcast. 'Live' broadcasting provided the main appeal to both the general public and the broadcasters themselves, distinct from the experience of listening to gramophone recordings. In the British Broadcasting Corporation the first recordings were made in the early thirties on 60 rpm discs. Such recordings were made for short-term retrospective use on the BBC's Empire Service, often talks or speeches made by political figures. While initially these recordings were seen as inferior forms of transmission, useful for training staff but lacking in immediacy, an understanding of their potential began to grow. Historical value and as a potential source for new programmes were, and remain, the mainsprings for the systematic formation of sound recording collections in broadcasting.

2. Nature of broadcasting organisations

Most national broadcasting organisations now provide both radio and television services, but the nature and histories of the two media have usually ensured that radio and television production are organised separately. It is recommended that the sound archive is placed within the radio programme-making division. The archivist should have the closest contact with the production staff who both provide and reuse the material which is preserved. Such contact alerts the archivist to current and future programme plans and their potential significance to the archive. He may suggest ways in which archive material may be useful in the formulation of programme plans. Close contact between archive and programme-making areas should lead to interchange of ideas and information, and help to develop a sense of mutual trust and common interest. To this end it is essential that the archivist knows as many of the individual producers as possible. In this way support and advocacy may be secured, and the archive valued as an essential resource.

The sound archivist should maintain close liaison with his equivalent in television. Many practices and problems will be common to both collections; namely selection policy, the extent of catalogue documentation, issue and retrieval systems, and aspects of storage policy. In smaller organisations one archivist may be responsible for both radio and television material. The archivist would therefore need to ensure that the distinct archival needs of both media are catered for, according to the way in which the two programme-making areas are organised.

Most broadcasting organisations are concerned primarily with making new programmes, and there is always difficulty in securing adequate funds for establishing and developing archives of programme material. However it is now accepted that such collections can provide invaluable source material for new programmes of all kinds, capable of reuse in many different contexts. Archive collections can enhance the quality of programmes to such an extent that the organisation will suffer if these opportunities and responsibilities are not taken up.

A single radio organisation may have many and widely separated stations making and transmitting programmes. In this situation a decision must be made as to whether each station should have its own sound archive, or whether the local operations should depend on a central service. Ideally good lines of communication should ensure that the central archive can provide an equally effective service to both regional stations and the central area. Where regional characteristics and language are sufficiently distinct, it is essential that programme-makers within these regional centres should be involved in decisions on what material is required for permanent retention specifically for that region

3. Purpose of the radio sound archive

The purpose of a sound archive serving radio broadcasting is to build up and maintain the collection as a permanent source of material for use in programmes. It should also seek to preserve a collection of complete programmes representing the entire output of the service. All types of material should be taken into account. Although the first concern should be transmitted material, it is important that untransmitted material should also be considered; material that has been recorded for programme purposes but not used may be potentially valuable for the archive. Similarly, material may be recorded by sources outside the broadcasting organisation and offered directly to the archive.

The categories of material to be considered are as follows:

events (political, economic, social, sporting etc.);

voices and reminiscences of prominent contemporaries in all fields;

social history and folklore (home conditions, work, leisure, education, customs, traditions etc.);

miscellaneous material for documentary, reminiscent and general interest programmes;

linguistic material (language, dialect and accent);

drama and entertainment programmes;

music (works unlikely to be issued on commercial records, authentic folk and national music, outstanding performances and occasions;

natural history (wildlife) recordings, effects and authentic sounds.

These broad categories should provide the production areas with essential source material for a wide range of programmes as well as giving scope for repeat programming. Additionally it should provide a valuable research resource for historical and retrospective programming. Finally, as the archive grows, it should reflect the history and development of broadcasting techniques and of the broadcasting organisation itself.

4. Selection of material

Any process of selection will reduce the historic value of the organisation's material and its subsequent potential for reuse. However it is inevitable in most broadcasting organisations that economics enforce some selection of the material available. A broadcasting organisation will tend to transmit so much material daily that selection will be necessary both in choosing what to record or what to keep once recorded. Seeking to record and keep everything can lead to storage problems and make retrieval and use of the material very difficult. If material cannot be found and used by the programme-maker in time to meet broadcasting deadlines, the very existence of an archive may well be called into question. A clear selection policy must be established to prevent these problems since, once set in motion, they are difficult to reverse.

It is most important that those authorised to select, and the criteria used, are established with extreme care to reduce the possibilities of errors of judgement. The value of preserving broadcast material can be obscured by the operational pressures involved in programme production and transmission, especially in the areas of news and current affairs output. Operational pressures are particularly strong during the first years of a broadcasting organisation, when only a small proportion of programme material tends to survive.

The archivist must strive to avoid this pattern, and to establish satisfactory selection and preservation methods as an integral part of the service from its inception. To allow policy to be formulated, developed and systematically applied, it is necessary to establish a set of selection criteria. The following are suggested:

Is the recording likely to be of use in future broadcasts as primary source material? Does it illustrate a particular person, event, social attitude or change, in speech or music? (Selection must strive to consider every possible production context in terms of reuse.)

Does the recording possess significance in sound, over and above the information and/or style of the script?

Does the archive possess similar material and, if so, does the new recording increase the value of the existing collection by providing additional examples, improved performances, or better technical quality?

Is the recording technically suitable for preservation? (Here a balance has to be made between the intrinsic value of the content and the technical quality of the recording.)

Are there copyright, contractual or other restrictions on the use of the recording? If so, is the material of sufficient importance to merit preservation despite the difficulties limiting or preventing use? (It should be remembered these may be temporary and removable at a later date.)

Should the recording be selected as a whole or in part? (An effective policy is to keep in their entirety talks, plays and features, which have been conceived as artistic wholes, rather than to select extracts from them. In the case of public events and sporting commentaries selected extracts are usually sufficient. This may occasionally apply to talks or speeches where a passage is especially interesting or valuable, although the item as a whole is not regarded as outstanding.)

The actual proportion of material to be selected and preserved is difficult to recommend because of the diversity of broadcasting organisations, and of the funds available. A large repeat element and heavy dependence on commercial gramophone recordings will force down the percentage of output which is permanently retained. However, in general terms, something in the nature of 10% is likely to be a useful guide in formulating selection policy.

The timescale in which selection is made is significant. Some material, because of its rarity or known quality, can be identified as of long term value even in advance of transmission. In other cases, where existing material in the library is obviously better, items can be discarded soon after transmission. A large proportion of programme output inevitably falls between these two extremes. To avoid misplaced effort it is necessary to establish an evaluation point which allows sufficient time for an informed and objective decision to be made. However decisions must be made early enough to ensure an effective turnover and reuse of tape.

5. Staffing

The archivist should be paid on the same scale as the senior production staff he serves. The number of staff he employs will depend on his ability to persuade the organisation that he needs them, and the level of their remuneration will also be his responsibility. The following are the functions of staff required in an archive of sound recordings serving broadcasting:

management (archivist and secretary);



enquiries and issue of material;

returns and chasing overdue items;

technical services (e.g. copying or repairing material).

Some of these functions may be combined, depending on the size of the library. The selection and cataloguing functions can be combined into one operation. Similarly enquiries can be linked with returns thereby centralising the service element to the archive's users. Above all the archivist must be aware that the appointment of staff is the most important matter he decides.

6. Documentation

Each recording must be given an accession number for the purpose of identification, and the material should be stored in this order. Basic cataloguing and indexing data will include the following:

title of the programme;

names of those taking part in the programme;

date the programme was transmitted;

subjects of the programme;

category of the programme.

Cataloguing and indexing are expensive activities, although they are essential for the exploitation of the sound archive. The systems adopted should be as simple as is compatible with effectiveness. Complex schemes should be avoided, for it is important that the production staff themselves should be able to research their own needs.

In the earliest days of a sound archive it is recommended that single cards are used for each entry; never lists, which are difficult and cumbersome to keep up to date. Later the entries should be held on computer and regular up-datings and print-outs provided.

Copies of useful documentation produced by the production departments about their programmes should be received by the sound archive as essential aids to the cataloguing of the material. Such documentation might include programme digests, scripts and publicity material which may be usefully retained within the sound archive as an aid to future users.

7. Preservation

The library must be equipped with adequate and frequently maintained machinery, including copying facilities. Every recording selected for preservation should be copied for use, and the original then carefully protected. Production staff should not be permitted to cut up archive material for insertion in new programmes; they should copy it.

Expert advice on storage conditions should be available from within the organisation itself, because the archivist's problems will have been encountered already by his technical colleagues. Whatever is arranged (disposition of the racking, temperature, relative humidity) must suit the staff as well as the material, since the former is closely engaged with the latter. It is also suggested that in practice the main factor in the preservation of material is less the conditions in which it is stored and more the way in which it is handled.

8. Relations with broadcasting and other organisations

Most broadcasting organisations have international relations departments which facilitate the supply or exchange of material. The archivist should build up close contacts with his colleagues in this area. It will also be useful to keep in touch with the international broadcasting organisations, of which the European Broadcasting Union will be particularly helpful in supplying information about libraries in broadcasting institutions throughout the world.

It is inevitable that any broadcasting archive will attract the interest and attention of both other sound archivists in the non-broadcasting field and research students who may seek access to the collection. These contacts should also be maintained as links with specialist non-broadcasting sound archives can involve useful interchange of both ideas and material. Where possible, access should be granted to research students. The archive of any broadcasting organisation reflects a part of any society's history and should therefore be available for study.

6. Commercial Records (Pekka Gronow)

1. Introduction

At least two billion records and pre-recorded cassettes are sold annually in the world. In the most industrialized parts of the world almost every home has a record or cassette player and miniature 'sound archives'. Even in less developed countries, commercial recordings have a long history and enjoy considerable popularity. There are very few countries without regular commercial production of sound recordings. 1

To the sound archivist, commercial recordings are just one type of sound recording. The archivist who is specially concerned with, say, wildlife recordings, political speeches or folk songs, does not attach much importance to the question of whether a particular recording derives from a broadcast, a commercial issue or a recording specifically made for his archive. From his viewpoint, this is a perfectly valid approach. Commercial recordings have a variety of content and may be of interest to any type of sound archive.

However, there is another way of looking at the matter. This is perhaps best illustrated by the analogy with written material. There are many different types of written documents, ranging from manuscripts and official documents to newspapers and books, and there are also many kinds of libraries and archives that preserve written materials. But many countries have a national library which has the task of preserving the most important printed works published in the country. In several countries the national library actually has the task of preserving a copy of every book and periodical published. The printed word has a wide audience; it has left some mark on national culture and thus deserves to be preserved for future generations.

It makes sense to look at commercially issued sound records in the same way as printed books are viewed. Such recordings have also been made public; they have become permanent statements and deserve to be preserved. The number of recordings issued in any country is certainly much smaller than the number of printed works. If a country wants to preserve a complete or representative collection of its published literature, it should also pay similar attention to published sound recordings (not forgetting films and other moving images).

  1. 'Commercial' in this connection simply means that the recordings are offered for sale to the public. It does not necessarily imply the existence of a profit motive or a specific economic system. 'Non-commercial' recordings are those made exclusively for broadcasting organisations, archives or private use and which may not generally be available for purchase.

2. A national collection of commercial recordings

This chapter is based on the assumption that every country should preserve a complete or representative collection of its national record production for posterity; an audio counterpart of the national library. However, much of the advice given here is equally applicable to other situations, such as specialized sound archives wishing to build up a collection of commercial recordings related to their field of study.

The idea of a national collection of commercial recordings was first introduced in France, where the Phonothèque Nationale was founded in the 1930s. It has become part of the national library, the Bibliothèque Nationale. In the United Kingdom, the British Institute of Recorded Sound collects not only commercial recordings but also wildlife sounds, documentary recordings, folk music and broadcasts. In Sweden, the Arkivet för Ljud och Bild is the central archive for commercial recordings, radio and television broadcasts, and films. In Denmark, the Nationa1diskoteket is part of the National Museum. In the United States, the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division of the Library of Congress was established in 1978, combining a number of previously existing archives into one unit. There are also several other important American collections of commercial recordings which specialize in particular types of music, such as the John Edwards Memorial Foundation at the University of California, Los Angeles (country music), the Rodgers and Hammerstein archives at the New York Public Library (popular music) and the Yale University collection of historical recordings (opera).

The above examples show that it is not possible to say how the national record collection should be organized. It can be an independent body or part of a larger institution. There are obviously several alternative models. The important thing is that some institution or institutions should bear the responsibility for this task, the scale of which may be judged from the history of the record industry.

3. A brief history of the record industry

After the invention of sound recording in 1877, recordings were made individually on wax cylinders for almost two decades. Very few recordings from this period survive.

In the 1890s, it became possible to duplicate cylinders and discs on a large scale and, after the turn of the century, the commercial production of sound recordings really got under way. Half a dozen US, British, German and French companies soon assumed leading positions. These companies operated on a global scale. They established subsidiaries and agencies in as many countries as possible and sent their recording experts to record local music in order to promote more interest in the new invention. During the decade preceding the First World War, records enjoyed an astonishing popularity and cheap spring-operated record players found their way even to remote villages where electricity was still unknown. Between 1898 and 1921 a single company, the Gramophone Co. (UK), is known to have made a total of 200,000 different recordings. The Company made recordings in most European, Asian and North African countries.

The First World War naturally reduced sales, but in the 1920s records again became popular. In addition to the established international companies, there were now a number of smaller local companies. As recording technology was still relatively expensive, however, many small countries still lacked a local industry. For instance, there was no local record industry in Finland, Denmark, Norway or Ireland until the late 1930s, and all recordings made in these countries were produced and pressed by foreign companies.

The worldwide economic depression of the early 1930s and the simultaneous introduction of sound film and radio broadcasting made record sales drop to one tenth of the previous decade's level. Many record companies went bankrupt and information about their activities was lost. In the late 1930s sales increased again, but another world war intervened and not until the 1950s did record sales again reach the peak level of 1929.

In the 1950s, the introduction of microgroove (long playing and single) records and the general improvement in the standard of living increased the demand for records, and for the past three decades world sales have generally been moving upward. With the introduction of magnetic tape, recording became much easier and the number of small independent record companies increased dramatically. A local record industry has now been established even in areas where relatively few recordings were made before the war, such as Africa south of the Sahara, the Pacific and small Caribbean countries.

Pre-recorded cassettes and cartridges and cheap cassette players were introduced in the late 1960s. Cassettes soon became very popular and, especially in Asia and the Arab countries, sound recordings now reached a much wider audience than ever before. The duplication of cassettes is so simple that it has also created the new problem of record 'piracy' - the unauthorized duplication of recordings -which has become a large underground industry especially in countries where copyright legislation has lagged behind technological development.

Today there are literally thousands of record companies in the world, but the structure of the international record industry still reflects historical development summarized above. About half of all records produced in the world are made by a dozen huge international corporations, many of which are direct successors of the industry's pioneers. For instance EMI, the world's second largest record company, is descended from the Gramophone Company that was founded in 1898. These international corporations have subsidiaries or agents in most large countries. They produce many different types of recordings, both internationally known classical and popular music and national idioms. (Melodiya is an exception among the largest companies since it operates solely in the Soviet Union. As the only record company in one of the world's largest countries, however, its record production easily surpasses that of many multi-nationals.)

The scale of activities by the largest ten of those companies may be illustrated by their sales figures in 1977.

CBS (USA) 770 million
EMI (UK) 750 "
Polygram (Federal Republic of Germany/
750 "
Melodiya (USSR) 580 "
Warner Communications (USA) 530 "
RCA (USA) 400 "
MCA (USA) 100 "
Transamerica Corp. (United Artists)
90 "
Bertelsmann (ariola-Eurodisc)
(Federal Republic of Germany)
90 "
A & M (USA) 80 "

This table is based on material compiled by Martti Soramaki and Jukka Haarma.

The thousands of smaller companies usually operate only in one country or region. They often specialize in regional music, in special categories of music or in other specific types of sound recordings. Of course, such companies may vary considerably in size, from enterprises employing, say, a hundred people to being one man's part-time occupation. All are nonetheless small when compared with the world's largest record companies. There are companies specializing in Eskimo music, the songs of one religious sect, reissues of early operatic recordings, sound effects and documentary recordings of the Second World War. The sales of such recordings may be relatively low -often only a few thousand copies and a mere trifle when compared with international hits selling several million -but the combined number of different recordings issued by the small companies is tremendous and their total sales are by no means unimportant.

As an indication of the record industry's output the table set out in Figure 1 may be useful. The figures on the sales of records and pre-recorded cassettes are intended as a preliminary guide. International statistical publications such as the UNESCO Statistical Yearbook do not yet include sound recordings, and the accuracy of these statistics is in some cases questionable. Most of the figures shown are from 1979 or 1980, and were obtained from the International Federation of the Producers of Phonograms and Videograms and from Billboard magazine.

Figure 1

4. How to start a collection

The definition of national record production

We have touched on the necessity of preserving examples of 'national record production' without defining this term. It is not as simple as it may seem.

Throughout the history of the industry, records have frequently been manufactured outside the country where the original recordings were made. A German record company makes recordings of a Danish artist in Finland, has them manufactured in Sweden and sends them back to Finland for sale. Are the records Finnish, Danish, Swedish, or German? It depends on the viewpoint and it is impossible to give a universally acceptable answer. Countries with a strong record industry may produce records that are intended for export only. Very small countries may have no local record industry and even recordings of their national music are made by foreign companies abroad. Sound archives may, with good reason, adopt quite different definitions of national record production.

To give an example, Suomen äänitearkisto (the Finnish Institute of Recorded Sound) considers every record manufactured in Finland to be national production. Most such records are, it is true, recorded in Finland by Finnish artists, but there are exceptions. In addition, all records published by Finnish companies are considered to be national production even if they are manufactured abroad. In this case, too, the records usually have a clearly Finnish character. In addition, the archive collects recordings made in the Finnish language (often by Finnish immigrants) in the USA, Canada, Sweden and the USSR, although they are not formally considered national production. This definition is practical in a relatively small country with a locally oriented record industry, but other countries will have to formulate their own definitions. The country of manufacture, the domicile of the record company, the recording site, the nationality of the performer, and even the language or style of the performance may all be involved in the definition of national production.

Complete or representative collections?

Should every record or only a representative selection of recordings be preserved?

The majority of commercial recordings feature popular music of various types. It may be argued that not all recordings are worth preserving. Certainly many popular recordings may be of ephemeral interest only. But it is very difficult to know what will be considered valuable fifty years from now. Folk music was once despised by many people; now it is studied seriously everywhere. Urban popular music was in turn considered by scholars to be inferior to folk music, but 1981 saw the founding of an international association devoted to the study of popular music. Many popular records made in the 1960s have already become eagerly sought collectors' items.

Very few countries publish more than a thousand LP records annually. It takes about three metres of shelf space to store a thousand records. In many countries the complete record production of many decades can be stored in one small room. In most cases there cannot be any real practical objections to preserving a copy (or better still, two copies) of every nationally produced record. In my opinion, it is far better to waste a little space on unimportant recordings than to risk the complete disappearance of some important ones.

If every country were to assume the responsibility for preserving copies of its national record production not an unrealistic or unreasonably expensive task -we could be certain that an important part of human creativity was being preserved for posterity. Later it will be much more difficult and often impossible to fill in the gaps.

New domestic production

The simplest task of archives is to obtain new domestic production. The obvious way to get started is to buy copies of new recordings as they are issued, either from retail stores or directly from record companies. In most countries the annual cost of purchasing one or two copies of every new domestic recording issued is quite reasonable.

The main objection to this method is not its cost but the problem of obtaining a truly complete collection. In countries where there are many small record companies, or where some records for national consumption are manufactured abroad, it may be difficult to keep track of new releases. By the time the archives learn about the existence of a new recording it may already be sold out.

It is therefore better to establish direct contact with all record companies in your country. IFPI, the International Federation of Producers of Phonograms and Videograms, has recommended that its members donate sample copies of their production to national sound archives. This system of voluntary deposit has worked successfully in several countries. Of course the receiving institutions must be clearly designated and have national status. Record companies cannot be expected to distribute free copies to all and sundry.

However, this system has many of the drawbacks of purchasing records. In many countries there are small companies that are not members of national record industry organizations. It may be difficult, therefore, to establish contact with all record producers. For this reason many countries have introduced the system of the legal deposit of sound recordings.

The legal deposit of printed works has a history going back several centuries. In numerous countries printers and/or publishers are required to deposit copies of their publications in one or more libraries. In Finland, for instance, printers are required to deposit five copies of all books and periodicals printed; the copies go to the Helsinki University Library and four other University libraries in other parts of the country. Several countries have already extended legal deposit to include sound recordings. Such countries now number about 30, although it seems that in some cases the legal deposit of sound recordings is based on the registration of copyright and the recordings received are not always properly cared for.

The details of such legislation naturally vary from country to country. In some countries the legal deposit of sound recordings includes both domestic production and imports (records imported in some quantity for sale). In countries where legal deposit is connected with copyright, it usually involves only new production and not reissues. In Finland, record manufacturers (both record pressing and tape duplication companies) are legally required to deposit two copies of every record and cassette manufactured. In addition, record companies are obliged to deposit copies of Finnish recordings they have manufactured abroad. Foreign recordings are not included unless they are actually manufactured in Finland.

The legal deposit of sound recordings is, in most cases, the ideal method of building up a national collection of commercial recordings. The absence of such legislation need not, however, deter any country from starting a national record collection. Some of the finest record archives in the world have acquired their collections through voluntary deposit, purchase or a combination of the two.

Historical recordings

The first commercial recordings were issued in the 1890s. A tremendous number of recordings had, therefore, already been made before the first national sound archives were established and in many cases these recordings were lost without a trace. Consequently, any serious sound archive is soon faced with the problem of obtaining out-of-print commercial recordings. Some may be only a few years old, some four-score, but the problem remains the same.

Why not go to the record company which originally produced the record? In the case of recent recordings this is often a good idea, and the company may be persuaded to find a duplicate or make a tape copy. But my experience is that most record companies do not have proper archives, and when a record is no longer commercially viable, even archival copies are destroyed. Even where record companies do have archives, they are seldom properly cared for (material borrowed by staff is not returned, etc.).

The introduction of microgroove records in the 1950s seems to have been a turning point for many companies. When the 78 rpm speed was abandoned, existing stocks of older records (including archival copies) were often destroyed. As far as I know there are only three record companies in the world with large archives dating back to the early years of the industry. (There may be others, and an important task for research is the inventory of the archives of leading record companies.) These companies are EMI Records at Hayes, Middlesex, outside London, and CBS and RCA, both in New York. EMI is the successor of the Gramophone Company, founded in 1898. The EMI archives are unusually well organized and include archival copies of most records made by the Gramophone Company (but not by other EMI subsidiaries). This means that the archive contains recordings made since the turn of the century in most countries in Europe, Asia and North Africa.

The RCA (formerly Victor) and CBS (formerly Columbia) archives are not as extensive as those of EMI. In many cases the records themselves have not been preserved, but only the metal masters which were used to stamp records (and can still be used to make test pressings). Columbia and Victor had business connections in many European and South American countries and the archives also contain material from these countries.

The EMI, RCA and CBS archives are not open to the public. They are inadequately catalogued and it is often very difficult to find out whether particular items have actually been preserved or not. All three companies have occasionally cooperated with sound archives and made copies of their holdings available. All three archives also contain a large number of recordings which have probably not been preserved in any way in their country of origin. It is to be hoped that in future some way could be found of making these archives more widely accessible. This would mean some kind of agreement which takes into account both the legitimate economic interests of the companies and the interests of sound archives and historical research.

When searching for historical recordings it is, of course, also advisable to contact other established archives, whether national, specialized or broadcasting. Over the years many archives have accumulated foreign material and in my search for old Finnish records I found many important items in Sweden. The British Institute of Recorded Sound is an example of archives which have material from many countries. Many archives are willing to copy material for other archives, especially if an exchange is involved, but it must be remembered that copyright may in many cases restrict copying unless the permission of the copyright owners can be obtained (see section 11 on copyright).

Sooner or later the archivist is also likely to come into contact with private record collectors and dealers. Before the establishment of public sound archives many private individuals were already collecting old records as a hobby. Ali Jihad Racy, a specialist in Arab music, was able to write an important article on the history of Arab music by relying on private record collectors in Egypt and Lebanon. 1 His material was obviously not available in any public archive.

Private collectors can be of considerable value to sound archives. They can often spend much more time searching flea markets, antique shops and other sources for old records than can the professional sound archivist and they are usually willing to sell, exchange or lend their material.

But how much are old records worth? So far there is no market for old records comparable to the market for old books, stamps and certain antiquities. In some specialized fields, such as operatic singing and jazz, there is an established network of mail auctions, dealers and specialist shops and in such fields it is also possible to speak of established prices. But in general the prices of old records are much lower than the prices of old books of comparable rarity. I have purchased hundreds of interesting historical recordings dating from 1900 to 1950 for prices ranging from $0.50 to $5 (US). Even well-known collectors' items can often be bought for prices ranging from $10 to S25. There are records that might sell for a hundred dollars or more, but they are few in number and specialists in these fields could easily list them. 2 I am mentioning these figures because the absence of established prices sometimes makes the uninitiated think that any old record must be tremendously valuable just because it is old. A record by a famous singer like Caruso must surely be worth a lot! In fact Caruso's records sold so well in their time that they are still quite common and, with a few rare exceptions, can be purchased from specialists at very reasonable prices.

The absence of an international collectors' market has tended to keep prices down, but it also makes finding some records very difficult. If I am looking for original US jazz records from the 1920s or German opera singers of the 1930s, I know dozens of people through whom my needs may be met. But if I am interested in finding African recordings made before the Second World War or other items which are not generally collected, I can only hopefully pass the word around to fellow collectors, ask archives in various countries or hope for a lucky find in the flea markets of some large city with an African population. The situation being as it is, I would advise all sound archivists to establish good relations with private collectors.

  1. Racy, A.J. 'Record industry and Egyptian traditional music, 1904-1932' in Ethnomusicology Vol.20, No.1; 1976
  2. 1915-1965 American Premium Record Guide published by L.R. Docks (P.O.Box 13685, San Antonio, Texas 78213) gives estimated prices of several thousand US jazz, blues, country and popular records. The prices range from $3.00 to $100.00 or more with the majority being under $10.00. Please note, however, that there are thousands of records in these categories which are not listed in the book because their value would be less than $3.00.

5. A case study: Finland

I hope I will be excused for using my home country as an example, but I feel that many of the problems we faced in establishing an archive of commercial recordings in Finland are quite typical.

In the early 1960s, the Finnish Broadcasting Company had the only large collection of Finnish recordings. Even this collection did not go much farther back than the 1930s, was quite incomplete and was not open to people outside the company. Nobody seemed to know, or to care very much, what Finnish records had been issued at the beginning of the century.

In 1965 a group of private collectors, scholars, and record industry people got together and decided to found a sound archive. All Finnish record companies agreed to donate sample copies of their future production and, moreover, copies of their earlier recordings which were still in stock (most of them from the 1960s). Some storage space was obtained without rent and at first all work was done by volunteers. Later some financial support was received from the Ministry of Education.

The task then remained of acquiring older recordings. As nobody really knew what records had been issued, it was decided to embark on two simultaneous projects: to collect as many older Finnish records as possible and to compile a complete list of Finnish records, regardless of whether they could be found or not. For this purpose, private and broadcasting archives, old record catalogues preserved at the Helsinki University Library (thanks to the legal deposit of printed works!), the files of record companies and even advertisements in old newspapers were consulted. Archives in Sweden, Denmark, the UK and the USA were visited, and it was discovered that they had few Finnish recordings but a great many valuable record company catalogues in which Finnish records were listed.

Copies of old records were gradually acquired through purchase or donations. The acquisition of a large collection of Finnish-American records from a former producer of Finnish language radio programmes in the USA was especially lucky. But recordings made before the First World War remained particularly hard to find.

At this point it was learned that the EMI archive at Hayes in England had a large collection of early Finnish records. The archive had no index but as we had already compiled lists of the records, based on old catalogues, we were able to provide catalogue numbers and titles of the records required. EMI then agreed to make tape copies for a reasonable price. In about fifteen years, with the help of many private collectors and other archives, the Finnish Institute of Recorded Sound has been able to acquire a fairly large collection of Finnish records, including many which were completely unknown at the time the archive was started. This work has not been only of historical and academic interest. It has also provided material for numerous radio programmes, new recordings of old songs by contemporary artists and dozens of reissue LPs of historical recordings (in many cases by record companies which had forgotten that they had once made such recordings and lost their material!).

6. Foreign recordings

The first task of every country is to preserve its domestic record production, but this alone is not enough. There should also be examples of important foreign recordings, for students of history, music and languages, for historians of sound recording and for the general public. During the history of commercial recording, a few million different recordings have been issued all over the world. What should be chosen for archival preservation?

In a country with a large market for imported records, one answer is obvious. Obtain representative examples of recordings sold in your country. They have obviously influenced cultural life there and there has clearly been some demand for them. In fact, some countries have extended legal deposit to include imported recordings.

This still is hardly sufficient. Only a fraction of all recordings issued are distributed outside their country of origin. The sound archives that want to build up systematically a collection of international recordings must also keep an eye on what is published in other countries.

Of course it is impossible to give universally acceptable guidelines for the planning of such a collection. Who is going to use the collection and for what purpose? Is it for students of music, folklorists, ethnomusicologists, historians or political scientists? Is the intention to build up a collection covering the history of Western art music, the main musical traditions of the world, the history of recorded sound or examples of the voices of famous historical and political figures? There are numerous possibilities. The choice should also take into account what other archives in the country, and perhaps also in neighbouring countries, are doing. Archives in Central Europe will probably have different goals from those, say, in South East Asia or in the Caribbean.
In any case, a sound archivist will probably soon find that he cannot rely too much on retail stores and importers in his own country, because they are not likely to be interested in obtaining one or two copies of some obscure recording. He-may, therefore, have to find suppliers abroad. If there are currency restrictions the best solution would probably be to establish exchange programmes with suitable foreign archives. This procedure is quite common among libraries. Even if there are no problems in obtaining foreign currency, finding the right suppliers may be quite complicated.

In some cases, the archivist should probably write direct to the record company. My experience is that many small record companies are quite happy to handle small postal orders. Large companies often sell wholesale only, however, or may be contractually prevented from selling direct to buyers in other countries (even if the appointed agent in their area does not stock the items required or refuses to accept small orders!).

Often the best solution is to find a reliable retailer who is willing to handle postal orders and go to some trouble to find unusual records. The prospects of finding a good supplier depend on the country, the types of recordings concerned and, obviously, also on the amount of money you are going to spend. A good way to get started is usually to look for advertisements in music or record trade periodicals and then place a small sample order.

Even then the archivist must know exactly what he is looking for. This involves finding out from periodicals, catalogues, and discographies (see section 7) what records are available and what their catalogue numbers are. It should be remembered that the same recording is often issued under different catalogue numbers in America and in Europe (often, even in different European countries, the numbers vary). Do not try to order out-of-print recordings from dealers who only sell current recordings. The previous section on historical recordings gives some hints on sources for out-of-print recordings.

7. Catalogues and discographies

Many countries regularly publish national bibliographies, catalogues of books and periodicals published in the country and acquired by the national library. There are also innumerable bibliographies on books and articles on various subjects. Discography, the systematic cataloguing of records, is a much less developed branch of library science. Only very few countries have made attempts to produce national discographies and, in most cases, these are only partial attempts, listing only recent or only historical recordings. Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and the Federal Republic of Germany should be mentioned in this connection.

Recently there has, however, been increasing interest in discography. Specialists have published discographies of various types of recordings, such as operatic singing, violin playing, jazz, film music, dance orchestras, certain composers, speeches, etc. Most of these publications are mainly concerned with records issued in the English-speaking countries, while in other parts of the world there has been less interest in discography. There have also been discographies listing all recordings (or certain categories of recordings) published by a single record company and this is already a step towards a national discography. Certain types of music, such as jazz, are already quite well covered by discographies, but others are hardly touched at all.

In this situation the second best source of information is usually commercial catalogues published by and for the record trade. Most record companies regularly publish catalogues and newsletters listing new releases and other recordings currently available. In some countries there are also collective catalogues listing all (or most) recordings currently available for the trade. Well known examples are the Schwann catalogue in the USA, Music Master and Gramophone in the UK and Bielefelder in the Federal Republic of Germany. Such catalogues are invaluable for two reasons. They list records currently available and show their publishers and catalogue numbers. But even later, when the catalogues are no longer current, they are useful check lists of recordings that have been published, many of which are probably not listed in any other source. In fact sound archives would do well to obtain as complete a collection as possible of catalogues issued by record companies in their country, and at least occasional copies of the main international catalogues mentioned above. Afterwards such catalogues will be almost impossible to find. Record company catalogues published at the beginning of the century are already collectors' items which in many cases cost more than the records they list.

8. Technical considerations

The operations of archives of commercial recordings do not differ much from those of other sound archives. You need storage space, staff, a cataloguing and filing system and technical equipment. But while other sound archives will mainly be using open-reel tape, commercial recordings are mainly issued on records (discs) and cassettes.

Modern microgroove records (LPs and singles) are not likely to present any special problems. They are quite durable (if direct wear, scratches and other physical damage are avoided) and can be safely played even on moderately priced record players if the stylus is checked frequently and changed before it is worn. Information on record players and other high fidelity equipment is readily available from dealers, manufacturers and specialized publications.

Pre-recorded cassettes and cartridges do not, in principle, differ from open-reel magnetic tape and the instructions given elsewhere in this book should apply for cassettes as well. However, in practice, pre-recorded cassettes are usually of much lower quality. Their quality varies tremendously, and they also frequently have mechanical faults which cause problems. Cassettes are such a recent invention that there is not yet much information on their preservation. Any archives which hold cassettes in their collections should -especially if the identical material is not available on disc -pay special attention to them and check their condition regularly. It would probably be safest to copy the most important recordings immediately onto high-quality open reel tape.

The older type 78 rpm records were standard in the record industry until the 1950s and in some countries they were manufactured even later. Today they are hardly made anywhere. From an archival viewpoint the old '78' was an excellent sound carrier if direct mechanical damage was avoided. Most of the shellac compounds used for the manufacture of records seem to be quite stable and 78 rpm discs seem to withstand the ravages of time better than paper, film or magnetic tape. Very little can happen to properly shelved shellac records, although at high humidity certain types of mildew growing on paper sleeves can damage shellac. Even dirty old records which have not been properly stored can frequently be improved by washing them carefully with water (preferably distilled) and a liquid detergent.

The main problem is playing the records. Old records should no longer be played on old record players with steel needles and heavy pick-ups, unless a specialist is available who can ascertain that no damage is caused to the record. Fortunately, modern light-weight pick-ups (except some of the more expensive types) can usually be adapted for 78s. At least one company, Shure, commercially manufactures styli for 78s and there are specialist companies, such as Expert Pickups in the UK, which will supply diamond styli for 78s. Several different types are available, corresponding to different makes and periods of 78s. Many archives have had excellent results with these styli.

Speed control can also cause great problems. Few record players any longer have the 78 rpm speed, although there are still some relatively expensive models with 78, 45 and 33 rpm. If one of these cannot be located it may be possible to have some other model modified so that the 45 rpm speed is changed to 78. Early records were seldom made to play at exactly 78 rpm. Before 1920 the correct speed could just as well be 74 or 80 rpm, so archives may need access to record players with variable speed controls. There is no way of knowing exactly the correct speed, but if an early recording sounds unnatural at 78 rpm then correction should be attempted by trying to vary the speed. Jeffrey Duboff, a specialist who lives in Massachusetts, supplies a variation of the Sony record player which has adjustable speed from 65 to 105 rpm, in addition to the standard 45 and 33. Speeds as high as 100 rpm may be necessary in special cases.

Before the lateral-cut 78 rpm shellac disc became standard in the record industry, it had several serious competitors. The situation in the record industry at the beginning of the century resembled today's video market with several competing systems. There were even oddities such as the 'World' record, which had to be played at a constantly changing speed. Few archivists are likely to encounter the most unusual types and the problems of reproducing them are so specialized that we need not discuss them here. If you meet very special types of recordings ask other, older archives for advice. I shall, however, discuss briefly the most common 'non-standard' recordings.

Cylinders were manufactured commercially from the l890s to the 1920s and, even later, blank wax cylinders were used on dictating machines. Cylinders were made from many different materials, came in different sizes and were played at different speeds. The reproduction of cylinders is a highly specialized field and there is even one specialist company which supplies modern electrical cylinder players which accommodate most types of cylinders. Basically. it is not too difficult to build a moderately successful cylinder player which uses a modern stereo pick-up and several articles on this question have appeared in specialized publications.

Vertical cut discs sometimes look like ordinary 78 rpm discs, but when played on a normal record player little sound is heard. However, with a suitable stylus, a stereo pick-up, the correct speed and using only one channel of the stereo signal, they can be reproduced quite satisfactorily. The main makes were Pathe and Edison. Edison discs are usually 10-inch, the same as most 78s but much thicker, and they play at 80 rpm. Pathe discs come in many sizes up to 14 inches, sometimes play from the inside out and were usually recorded at approximately 80 or 90 rpm. There were also other early manufacturers so, if you encounter early recordings which reproduce poorly make sure that they are not vertically cut.

The sound of old recordings, both standard 78s and more unusual makes, can usually be considerably improved by using filters, equalizers and other more specialized electronic equipment. Such miracles of modern electronics are useless, however, unless the proper stylus and correct speed are used.

9. Staff

There are few training programmes for sound archivists and hardly any for archivists specializing in commercial recordings. Such an archivist needs a combination of several skills: some knowledge of sound reproducing equipment; familiarity with the practical operation of archives and libraries, such as cataloguing, indexing, shelving; a basic knowledge of the history and structure of the record industry; some musical training, if possible.

One person need not necessarily have all these skills. The technical aspects of sound reproduction can be handled with outside help. But the successful running of the archive requires a combination of library or archival training and a basic knowledge of the record industry. Both are equally important. Many of the tasks in sound archives are no different from those in a library, but the mechanical application of library or archive training without an understanding of the peculiarities of recordings can produce disastrous results. The cataloguing rules for sound recordings developed by libraries may be good for a public library which must handle both books and recordings, but they are inadequate for sound archives with historical recordings. The best background for a sound archivist specializing in commercial recordings would probably be basic library or archive training combined with an extensive reading of literature. He should make visits to older sound archives; correspond and have personal contacts with other archivists, collectors and record industry people; and have a genuine interest in recordings.

How many staff are needed? This depends on the size and collection of the archive, the input of new recordings, the complexity of the cataloguing system, the services offered to the public and other factors. It is relatively easy to estimate the working time required for the cataloguing of a certain number of recordings annually and the operation of a listening service (and reading room for printed material on sound recordings). It is more difficult to estimate how much time is needed for contacts with record producers (there are always problems with getting recordings), correspondence with other archives and scholars, the search for historical recordings and administrative work. Archives will have to estimate for themselves how many staff the ideal operation of their archive would require, and then comfort themselves with the knowledge that most archives have to do with less! It is also important to remember that the first task of archives is to preserve material for posterity. Even if it is not possible immediately to arrange the proper cataloguing of recordings, a listening service and so on, it is important to acquire recordings so that they are not lost.

10. Security

Most sound archives have been established by a few dedicated individuals who have personally supervised everything. Access has probably been limited to a small number of equally dedicated specialists. Then the archives grow. More staff are employed, often on a temporary basis. The number of users grows considerably and one day it is discovered that valuable recordings have been lost.

All archives must pay attention to the security of their collections and archives of commercial recordings are likely to have larger problems than, say, archives specializing in wildlife sounds. The typical 'thief' who takes material from archives is not a professional criminal but an enthusiastic visitor or a staff member who thinks that he needs a particular item more than the archive and that the loss will not be noticed anyway.

The best precaution against the loss of material is the establishment of simple rules for the removal and return of material from shelves, for taking material off the premises, for locking and opening doors and having access to keys, for the inspection of bags and so on. The existence and observance of such rules will probably eliminate most security problems.

11. A note on copyright

All sound archives - especially those concerned with commercial recordings - will sooner or later come into contact with copyright legislation. Can we make tape copies of records for researchers or for exchange with other archives? Can we make duplicates for our internal use? Can we charge for copies?

The details of copyright legislation vary considerably from country to country and the copyright of sound recordings is not always as clearly established as, say, the copyright of printed works. The following should consequently be read only as a general outline of the subject; individual archivists must thoroughly understand the law in their own countries. However, some general principles are common to the copyright legislation in most countries.

A commercially published sound recording usually utilizes two separate types of copyright:

the rights of the author(s) of the recorded work (composer, lyricist, arranger, etc.). These rights are often controlled by a publisher and/or a copyright organization;

the rights of the performer and the record company, usually controlled by the latter and/or a performing rights organization.

The author or owner of a copyrighted work has the exclusive control of the use of the work. Thus archives making a tape copy of a recording for their internal use may be breaking a law, unless this is specifically permitted in the country's copyright law or the archives have the permission of the copyright owners.

Laws must be obeyed, but copyright must never be an excuse of inaction. There are least three different ways of ascertaining that archives can make necessary copies and in other ways utilize copyrighted works.

(a) Obtain Necessary Permits

Especially in countries where composers and record companies have representative organizations, it might be relatively easy to obtain permission to make copies of copyrighted recordings for archival use or exchange. A payment may be demanded but this need not be excessively high. The copyright owners may also realize the importance of archives and grant certain rights free of charge. Even if a general arrangement is not possible permission may be sought in specific cases, for instance when an exchange with a foreign archive is involved. Never use copyright problems as an excuse for refusing to make copies unless you have at least asked the copyright owners.

(b) Exceptions Provided by Law

In most countries, copyright legislation provides some exceptions to the general principle. In some cases these exceptions directly involve archives. For instance, the copyright law of Finland allows archives to copy printed works on microfilm and it has been suggested that a similar provision be made for copying rare recordings on tape to ensure their preservation.

(c) Works Out of Copyright

Copyright lasts for a certain number of years only; the time of protection varies from country to country and can be different for different types of works. When copyright has expired, the work is in public domain and can be freely copied. Please note, however, that the rights of both the authors and the performers must have expired before this can be done. Early recordings are out of copyright in many cases.

The illegal copying of sound recordings continues to cause great losses to the record industry and it is easy to understand why the industry is very much concerned about copyright. Where sound archives are concerned, however, the record companies are usually quite helpful. Archivists who are uncertain about copyright matters, or who have specific problems regarding the copying of sound recordings, should first contact copyright organizations or representatives of the record industry in their own country. Certainly many problems may be solved in this way.

7. Dialect (Vincent Phillips)

1. Field of study

In everyday life people co-operate and interact with each other in a number of ways: with immediate members of the family in their homes, with friends and neighbours in their local community, with colleagues at work and with complete strangers in meetings further afield. It is in this web of inter-relationships that language is used to forge and maintain friendships, to communicate, to instruct, to enthrall and to carry out all the other functions necessary in any social inter action using the medium of speech.

Language behaviour itself is extremely complex. When viewed in use in society, it is marked by two apparently contradicting characteristics. To participate fully in the activities of a society and to interact naturally with its other members, a speaker must be able to practise the communication code recognised by that society. The use of this communication code, or language, demands mastery of and adherence to the accepted forms of the particular structural patterning the relational framework - pertaining to that one language, otherwise effective understanding between people will prove difficult if not impossible. A speaker must learn the speech sounds of the language, their arrangement in 'words', the construction of sentences and the meanings associated with these 'words' and constructions, if he is to communicate effectively with other speakers in his community.1 Yet any observation of linguistic behaviour in society reveals diversity. Speakers do not all speak in the same way. The dialectologist is interested in aspects of this diversity; in particular as to how the variant patterns of the language are ordered and how the variations relate to each other territorially.

Differences of language are not all of the same order. Indeed some arise from extra-linguistic factors. Two main types of variation need to be distinguished:

- variation within the speech of the individual;
- variation within the community.

  1. On structural patterning and language see Lyons, J. ‘Structuralism and linguistics' in Robey, D. (Ed.) Structuralism: An Introduction; Oxford: Clarendon Press; 1973. On encoding see Moulton, W.G. A Linguistic Guide to Language Learning; New York: The Modern Language Association of America; 1970 and Jakobson, R. and Waugh, L.R. The Sound Shape of Language; Brighton: Harvester Press; 1979

Variation within individual speech

'Stylistic variations' occur because no one speaker will speak in the same manner in all situations. The totality of his speech forms -his 'idiolect,2 -will consist. of a range of styles which he deems appropriate to the varying social situations in which he may find himself. This appropriateness is dependent on factors present in the situation, such as 'place of interaction, topic of discourse, the person or people with whom the speaker is interacting, and of course, the degree of attention he is paying to his own speech'.3

Such styles are reflected in the way the language is spoken, in the choice of vocabulary and sentence constructions. They include also the attitude of the speaker at the time; whether he is polite, serious, patronising, etc. O'Connor, for example, commenting on such differences of pronunciation says that they 'can be graded by almost imperceptible degrees from stylised declamation at one end of the scale to the meaningful grunts of the family conversation at the other. 4' For the purposes of his particular transcriptions of spoken English he distinguishes between four styles: declamatory, formal colloquial, colloquial and familiar.

In certain cases the choice between stylistic variants may be determined by the occupation of speaker or listener. A lawyer in practising would naturally use the vocabulary and phraseology common to his profession, and the style appropriate to the formality of the occasion. Such variation is conditioned and is often given the special name of 'register variation'.

  1. Bloch, B. 'A set of postulates for phonemic analysis' in Language: Journal of the Linguistic Society of America, Vol.24; 1948
  2. Milroy, L. 'Phonological correlates to community structure in Belfast' in Belfast Working Papers in Language and Linguistics, Vol .l; 1976; p.2 and Milroy, L. Language and Social Networks; Oxford: Basil Blackwell; 1980
  3. O'Connor, J.D. New Phonetic Readings from Modern English Literature; Berne: A. Francke; 1948; p.4

Variation within the community

Within a speech-community variation occurs along three dimensions: social, temporal and geographical.

Any social differentiation which sets up 'barriers' in society between its members can create linguistic variation. Social distance resulting from class-ordering of its members, or education, may mean greater recognition and prestige being given to certain varieties of speech. In many societies the speech of men and women differs whilst in others race and religion can form barriers as well. This kind of variation is often studied by sociolinguists.

Language itself is never static and linguistic variation may be correlated with the ages of speakers. Several studies have shown incipient differences. In a well-known study of a community in Switzerland which looked at the language of three age-groups 'drift by generations' was observed. The changes 'are more or less latent in the first generation, appear irregularly in the second, and expand in triumph in the third'.5

Linguistic changes, however gradual, over a long period of time result in different sound patterns, in different grammatical forms and in differences of vocabulary. But these changes are not uniform over all areas where the language is spoken, hence geographical variations arise. In some areas older forms are retained, in others innovations have been accepted and the changes permeate through the whole language structure of a speaker. In many areas, for example, speech sounds exist which are not found in the speech of other areas. Such sounds, participating in the patterning of the sound system of that area, establish it as a particular kind and thus set it apart from areas where these sounds do not occur at all. Other speech sounds, although in common use over a wide territorial area, may be found in particular combinations in some examples of speech and in different combinations in other examples. These patternings again can be set apart and identified as separate 'varieties,.6 Grammatical and syntactical forms, and items of vocabulary, may be isolated also in this way and can be related to known geographical areas. It is these areal varieties and their structural patterning and relationship to each other that are studied by dialectologists.

Areal differences arise because the speakers of a language through the long stages of its history, in their various communities, cannot possibly maintain close and frequent contact with each other. Certain areas -out of the way valleys for example -find themselves isolated from the mainstream of communications. A range of mountains can create a distinct barrier between communities. Political domination and religious boundaries have kept people in close contact whilst at the same time separating them from other areas. At a more local level, centres of influence for marketing produce, shopping, etc. -have drawn people from a particular hinterland and have spread their influence in certain directions whilst having little or no effect on other communities. Factors such as these have influenced the language patterns and a number of linguists have 'pointed out from different points of view that the closer the identifications of speakers the greater the range of shared interests and the more probable that tile speech will take a specific form. The range of syntactic alternation is likely to be reduced and the lexis to be drawn from a narrow range ... In these relationships the intent of the other person can be taken for granted as the speech is played out against a back-drop of common assumptions, common history, common interests. 7

  1. Entwistle, W.J. Aspects of Language; London: Faber and Faber; 1953; p.35
  2. Weinreich, U. 'Is a structural dialectology possible?' in Word: Journal of the Linguistic Circle of New York, Vol.10; 1954; p.389
  3. Bernstein, B. 'Social class, language and socialization' in Giglioli, P.P. (Ed.) Language and Social Context; Harmondsworth: Penguin Books; 1972; p.165

2. Types of dialect studies

Lexical studies

Many words to do with everyday life are not in general use throughout a complete language area and indeed many words of a language are known only to speakers within fairly confined regions. This realization and the related observation that common words often have· a distinct pronunciation in local speech as well as meanings which differ regionally, gave rise to the study of what words are to be found in a locality and what meanings are given to them. Of these studies the impetus to compile glossaries has been the most prevalent. These vary in coverage, some confining themselves to the uncommon words of a village or parish, and are little more than a chapter in a history of a dialect. Others aim at a complete collection of all the words in a defined locality. The value of these compilations is that they give precise information on the vocabulary used in one area at a particular time. More ambitious projects exist in some countries. In Finland, for example, collecting dialect words and phrases systematically in a number of determined locations covering the whole country in order to compile a Finnish dialect dictionary has been in progress for some years. Such glossaries and dictionaries should show with phonetic accuracy the form of a word as used by local speakers as well as defining fully its different meanings, giving examples of its usage in the various contexts where it is to be found.

Descriptive studies

The patternings exhibited in a language as spoken within speech communities which are geographically contiguous may often show imparity. The particular 'variety' of language that occurs in any community has its own structural patterning. In the phonological encoding of a language, varieties usually have a number of speech sounds in common, but in some regions sounds of distinctive quality occur which immediately identify a speaker from those areas. Furthermore, speech sounds may not all occur in the same positions in a linguistic structure in the varieties of two separate communities. Trubetzkoy distinguished these variations thus: 'A phonological difference based on inventory exists when a dialect possesses a phoneme that is not known in another dialect. A difference in phonological function is present when a phoneme in one dialect occurs in a phonological position in which it is not found in another dialect. 8

Again at another level in the language pattern, differences may occur. 'In many languages words play an important grammatical role, in that they are built out of smaller elements by certain patterns, but are put together into sentences by rather different patterns. 9 Word-forms and word arrangement in sentences in the variations of two areas showing incongruences exhibit, therefore, dissimilar morphological and syntactical patterning.

Synchronic descriptive studies aim to give an account of the linguistic encoding for a particular region. Within a chosen area homogeneous samples of speech are identified and the relationship patterns exhibited by them are analysed and described. The uniformity of the samples often determines the size of the area chosen for investigation. Conversely the study may describe the range of variation in linguistic patterning in one area taking into account the sociocultural factors that have conditioned speech and the variation related to age groups within communities. Such descriptive studies may deal with the data comprehensively or confirm themselves to selected aspects. As Leonard Bloomfield remarked ‘The modern demand would be rather for a description such as one might make of any language: phonology, syntax, and morphology, together with copious texts'.10

  1. Trubetzkoy, N. S. 'Phonology and linguistic geography' in Baltaxe, C.A.M. (Ed.) Principles of Phonology; University of California Press; 1969; p.298
  2. Hockett, C.F. A Course in Modern Linguistics; New York: The Macmillan Company; 1965; p.l?7
  3. Bloomfield, L. Language; London: George Allen and Unwin; 1950; p.323

Comparative studies

Whereas the descriptivist is concerned with investigating the linguistic patterning within one defined area, the comparativist sets out to gain an overall view of the linguistic variation obtaining within the whole speech area. The practices of these two students of linguistic variation contrast sharply. The descriptivist uses all possible data and very many informants within his chosen area of investigation. The comparativist uses the method of selective sampling:

'By choosing a limited body of linguistic items for investigation in a limited number of carefully selected communities, each of them represented by a single speaker belonging to a certain social class, or by one for each of two or more social levels, the area linguist hopes to obtain a general view of the dialectal structure of the total area within a relatively short time. He has no illusion about achieving a complete coverage of usage.'11

Linguistic sampling of this kind depends for its reliability on co-ordinating several factors:

The direct recording of the spoken language in each area being investigated must be undertaken by trained fieldworkers.

The linguistic items which are likely to reveal the whole spectrum of variation within the language must be carefully determined in advance. This means the preparation of a fieldwork questionnaire to be used in all the locations chosen for the investigation.

The communities within the speech area from which samples are taken must be selected so that they are likely to produce comparable data and adequate coverage.

Within each community the informants chosen to provide the local form of speech must be assessed so that they match as to social background and style of speaking.

The collecting work must be completed within a reasonable period of time so that the data reflects the state of the language at a given period.

Obviously the inclusion of more linguistic items in the fieldwork questionnaire might reveal some variations more clearly - incidental material observed in the course of collecting is often noted down - and the addition of more points of enquiry might show up in greater detail definite trends in particular areas, but the comparativist has a set purpose and a planned programme to adhere to if he is to acquire suitable data from all the communities included in the investigation. It must be stressed that this is sampling using a wide network. Any problem areas can be the subject of further fieldwork.

Collecting in the field will result in complete sets of local speech forms for each location visited. As a corollary each individual linguistic item in the survey, if the field collection has been successful, will have a local response corresponding to the location where it was noted down. These local forms can, therefore, be set out on a map of the whole speech area and this will reveal what areas use the same forms, what areas are different and what areas use more than one form. This is the arrangement employed by the comparativist and, thus, linguistic geography -or dialect geography as it is also called -came into being, resulting in complete dialect atlases covering many speech forms for a whole country.

Within a speech area, locations where the same linguistic form is used can be separated from others which use a different form. Variant phonological realizations of the same 'word' and variant 'words' having the same lexical meaning exhibit this grouping and separateness. Consequently dividing lines can be drawn on a map to mark off areas which resemble each other in their use of a particular speech form from other areas. These lines are called 'isoglosses'. Where the isoglosses for many linguistic items co-occur almost entirely across speech areas a 'dialect boundary' is said to exist along those locations. Comparative studies reveal the range of variant forms for each item within a speech area and, by examining the general pattern of many items, aim at determining where speech boundaries exist. These are then studied in relation to physical terrain, settlement patterns, development of transportation systems, growth of regional centres, etc. in order to see whether their presence across areas can be explained by such factors.

The central problem in studying areal patternings has always been the ordering of the particular features of a sample of speech so as to establish how they relate to the same particular features of another homogeneous sample of speech. The common practice was to focus on the immediately observable similarities and differences of speech forms -phonological variants of the same 'word' or lexical items - and on comparing those variant forms directly with the aim of revealing similarities or differences in the linguistic patterning. Uriel Weinreich in an important paper voiced a primary objection to such an approach. Such comparisons, he maintained, 'ignored the structures of the constituent varieties … existing dialectology usually compares elements belonging to different systems without sufficiently stressing their intimate membership in those systems'. He insisted that 'the forms of the constituent systems be understood first and foremost in terms of .those systems, 'and that structural dialectology's 'special concern is the study of partial similarities and differences between systems and of the structural consequences thereof.'12 He proposed a particular comparative co-ordering by means of what he called a diasystem. W.G. Moulton attempted to take areal dialectology a step further by mapping differences in complete systems, for example the vowel systems of different regional varieties of the language. 13

  1. Kurath, H. Studies in Area Linguistics; Bloomington: Indiana University Press; 1972; p.2
  2. Weinreich, op.cit.
  3. Moulton, w. G. 'The short vowel systems of Northern Switzerland', in Word, op.cit., Vol.16; pp.155-l82


3. Data to be collected

All studies concerned with investigating linguistic forms as they occur in everyday usage must rely on data collecting in the field through interviews with informants. This is to ensure that what is collected will be an acceptable sample, which will meet with the requirements of the study being undertaken. Certain factors are common to this data collecting process whether the study be lexical, descriptive or comparative.


Compiling a dialect glossary or dictionary means exploiting as fully as possible the totality of expression in everyday use amongst the people of an area. A dialect dictionary devoting itself to the whole language is an immense project. One aspect of the lexicographical projects undertaken in Finland, for example, had as its aim 'a dialect dictionary exhaustively expounding the vocabulary of Finnish dialects, dialect forms and distribution' .14

It was calculated that for such a dictionary a specific number of 'complete' parish vocabularies would be needed. These 'complete' vocabularies would include:

The common vocabulary of the community in its everyday living which in itself will vary considerably according to the predominant occupations of its inhabitants.

The vocabulary particularly associated with those predominant occupations as well as other crafts and skills.

The vocabulary related to the whole range of aspects which form human experience: bird, plant and animal names, natural features, folk lore, hobbies and pastimes, etc.

The particular modes of expression of a community in its telling idioms and phrases which may often be peculiar to the region.

Such collecting should reflect regional differences in the vocabulary - the local forms of the 'same word' and the local words for the 'same thing' - and will include morphological variations.

  1. Castrenianum: The Centre 0 Research into Finnish and its Related Languages, Helsinki; 1965; p.6

Descriptive studies

To describe the sound patterning - the phonological encoding - and the composition of words and the manner in which they are ordered to form complete sentences the morphology and syntax - of a variety of speech within one defined area, requires a copious sample of speech-data if it is to be adequate enough to reflect the range of patternings in that variety within the levels mentioned.

The kind of questions to be answered may be illustrated in an example from the phonology of a variety of Welsh. It shows the importance of sound distribution in the patterning. In this variety the distinctive diphthong [æə] occurs. Native speakers will use it in monosyllabic forms:

/tæəd/ father ., /tæən/ fire

/fæa/ broad beans., /ɬæə Ɵ/ milk

In monosyllabic structures in surrounding areas this sound does not occur. It is replaced there and in most other areas of Wales by the sound [ɑː].

The process of collecting will reveal a certain ordering, a pattern, and pose questions for the investigator. He will want to know if [ɑː] occurs at all in the south-east Wales variety and whether [æə] occurs in structures other than monosyllabics. He will find that the sound [ɑː] occurs also in the variety but in other positions, namely in the first syllable of a disyllabic structure:

[pɑˑtäɬ] pan, [kɑˈtu] to keep

[nɑˈpöd] to recognise

In this position the pattern corresponds to what is common in other areas. The distribution of a sound in a system can be a factor which distinguishes varieties of speech. This is the case here. Apart from the fact that the presence of [æə] in the inventory of sound distinguishes the variety, the occurrence of [ɑː] does not display equivalence of distribution with other varieties and thereby also differentiates this variety.

What is collected must identify all the speech sounds - vowels and consonants - used, where they occur in structures, their positional variants, their possible combinations in consonant clusters or diphthongs, the range of structures, syllabic stress, junction variation and all such features which make up the phonological encoding. Likewise how word elements combine and are composed into word-forms must emerge from the collected data.

To ensure that he has collected the necessary data the researcher must resort to directed investigation of the speech usage, formulating questionnaires whose purpose is to reveal specific linguistic structures, and to follow up initial results with further questionnaires designed to throw light on particular problems. What goes into a questionnaire will be based on the investigator's experience of the language and especially on what is known regarding specific varieties of it. But the arrangement of a questionnaire must be thought out and related to the way language is normally used in the community, if the samples are to approach what could be deemed as a natural response. In order to do this the investigator must be conversant with the pattern of livelihood within the various communities of "the area and must centre his enquiries on topics related to his informants' everyday experience.


A comparative study provides a conspectus of the linguistic usage at a certain period in time. At the planning stage for such a survey two aspects relating to its range have to be decided. The first of these has to do with determining the territorial extent of the field investigations. This should not prove difficult. The survey may cover an agreed area of the country with the remaining parts being apportioned to be investigated by other centres, or it may be the intention to cover the whole country from the working base. In a case of this kind, as happened in Ireland, practical co-operation between interested centres in providing financial resources and trained staff can ensure that one centre is able to plan and undertake such a survey for the whole country.15

The second aspect relates to the scope of what is to be collected in each location chosen for investigation. This depends on the kinds of variation in usage to be surveyed. Basic to all these types obviously is the regional variation, but within this divergence the differences related to social dimensions and age groups are included in the wider ranging surveys. Criticism was often made of the earlier surveys in that they confined themselves to the speech of the older generation and to one social group, frequently a rural informant. 16 In The Linguistic Atlas of the United States it was maintained, however, that 'all population centres of any importance are regularly included, and, in principle, all social levels are represented' .17

After deciding the scope of the survey, the collecting of data as in the case of the other studies must meet with the criterion of adequacy of evidence for what is proposed. Sufficient data must be obtained from each place of investigation to provide information for the ensuing analysis. In order to evaluate the kinds of phonological encoding likely to occur regionally this concept of the adequacy of evidence for each set of data collected was formulated thus:

'Care was taken to provide sufficient material for a rather full description, both phonemic and phonic, of the pronunciation of each informant, and hence for determining the regional and social distribution of the phonic variations of all the phonemes of American English, and for establishing differences in phonemic structures. '18

In the later stages of analyzing the data 'the essential soundness of the expectation' was proved. 19

As we are again in search of natural speech-forms the data must be collected from the language of common interaction within the community. For this reason:

'Regional and local expressions are most common in the vocabulary of the intimate everyday life of the home and the farm -not only among the simple folk and the middle class but also among the cultured ... Food, clothing, shelter, health, the day's work, play, mating, social gatherings, the land, the farm buildings, implements, the farm stocks and crops, the weather, the fauna, and the flora -these are the intimate concern of the common folk in the countryside, and for these things expressions are handed down in the family and the neighbourhood that schooling and reading and a familiarity with regional or national usage do not blot out. 20

  1. Barry, M. v. 'The methodology of the tape-recorded survey of Hiberno-English speech' in Barry, M.V. (Ed.) Aspects of English Dialects in Ireland, Vol.1; Belfast: The Queen's University; 1981; pp.22-3
  2. Chambers, J.K. and Trudgill, P. Dialectology; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1980; pp.33-5 and Petyt, K.M. The Study of Dialect; London: Andre Deutsch; 1980; pp.154 et.seqq.
  3. Kurath, op.cit., p.l1
  4. Kurath, H et al. Handbook of Linguistic Geography of New England; Rhode Island: Brown University; 1939: p.148
  5. Kurath, H. and McDavid Jr., R.I. The Pronunciation of English in the Atlantic States; Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press; 1961; p.2
  6. Kurath, H. A Word Geography of the Eastern United States; Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press; 1949; pp.9-10

4. Dialect study projects

From what has been said of the nature of dialect studies it is clear that some of them necessitate setting up an investigation project on an extensive scale. A lexicographical study of the whole language culminating in compiling a dialect dictionary or a comparative study covering the whole country with the intention of publishing a dialect atlas requires an active programme of data collection.

These investigations will produce manuscript material, usually in the form of phonetic transcriptions of spoken forms, written up in answer books designed to correlate with a linguistic questionnaire or vocabulary items taken down on index cards. Where sound recording is part of the project there will also be tapes of interviews in the field, incorporating questionnaire material and a corpus of uninterrupted speech.

Such linguistic projects, therefore, consist of a number of operations: planning the survey, field collecting and archiving of the data. After their completion the resulting studies can get under way. In setting up a project, however, certain basic requirements are necessary and decisions affecting the whole investigation have to be taken to ensure good order. These will be considered now.

Control centre

In any undertaking which involves the planning and collecting of data in the field, the building up of an archive for the future and the promulgation of research, a centre where all the activities are coordinated is essential. At such a base the work can be organized and supervised. To ensure continuity it will also have the task of providing funds for its projects. Other research specialists and interests can be concerned with formulating policies but they should not interfere with the day-ta-day running. The Lexicography Foundation of the University of Helsinki, for example, 'was established by certain learned societies ... It was important that the Ministry of Education be included among the founders and the government was therefore persuaded to take part in the comprehensive undertaking ... Parliament awarded funds for word collection and when the continuation of state aid was promised it was possible to organize the work on a new basis' .21 But it is the Foundation which controls the project.

The centre will provide a base for staff, will house the necessary equipment for fieldwork and analysis of the speech-material, will provide conditioned storage rooms for the recorded audio-magnetic tapes and space for the catalogues, information retrieval systems and other archive material.

  1. Castrenianum, op.cit., p.11


At a centre planning linguistic investigations a nucleus of staff covering different aspects of the work will be required. These will include:

staff to undertake collecting in the field;

technical help to ensure effective maintenance of the sound recording and auditory equipment;

archive staff to catalogue and arrange the collected material.

Where publication of the results is to follow, the aid of specialists - such as cartographers in making dialect maps - will be necessary. A research co-ordinator who will be concerned with planning what is to be investigated and who will supervise the programme of collection will be responsible for the complete undertaking. He should be able to consult specialists in the language in deciding the scope of the investigation, what it should include and its territorial extent.

The nature of the dialect investigation being undertaken will determine what kind of staff can be used for collecting in the field. The financial resources will dictate their number and how they should be remunerated.

To take down speech forms in transcription requires rigorous training in phonetics and, where a team of transcribers is employed in the field, even extra training is necessary in order to standardize individual practices in denoting shades of sound, in recording quantity and stress, in defining meanings of words and other matters. This was attempted in the case of the Linguistic Atlas of New England, as some nine fieldworkers helped with the investigation. Both for descriptive and comparative studies training in linguistics is also essential. As the research deals specifically with linguistic patterning the investigators should have a grounding in phonology and grammar.

In lexicographical projects the number of collectors is on a far greater scale, and it would prove too costly to take them all on staff permanently. In such projects they may be of two kinds. The trained collectors undertaking the main thrust of the investigation are usually people who have taken a degree in a linguistic subject. Their collecting can be financed by means of scholarships awarded for three or four years, so that they could collect in the same area for that period, and the total project can be managed both financially and territorially in this way. They will require training before venturing into a selected area. Some centres organize courses in word collecting so that such fieldworkers set about their task knowing what is required by the collecting archive if it is to have data that can be relied upon.

The second kind are people who will aid the project motivated by a natural interest in language: the voluntary correspondents. Finland has achieved a remarkable success in nurturing such correspondents: ordinary farmers, housewives, foresters and schoolmasters.

By means of a special magazine: Sanastaja ('word collector'), they are guided and made aware of what could be collected and are encouraged in their collecting. Such is the interest in this activity that at one time up to 1000 native correspondents sent in word collections to the archive. They are not paid for the work but may be awarded book or money prizes. Being people of the area they have the distinct advantage of knowing what local words, turns of phrase and idioms are used in the multitude of circumstances that make up human experience.

The activities of these two kinds of collectors complement each other. The trained collectors probe and elicit word forms, the voluntary collectors are awakened to be aware of the richness of their language and to offer from their vast repository of knowledge.


In all linguistic investigations fieldwork is a central activity and the necessary equipment to conduct it effectively must be procured. The collected data needs to be studied in more detail and suitable equipment is also required for this aspect of the work.

For fieldwork, both transportation and recording equipment need to be considered. The dialect fieldworker must be able to visit all parts of the country - even those not easily accessible - in the course of finding and choosing informants. For this travelling a suitable vehicle is a necessity if he is to complete interviews and recordings within a reasonable time. It need not be much more than a small robust vehicle able to carry the fieldworker and his equipment to his place of investigation. Under more arduous conditions a vehicle able to withstand rough road tracks and inclement weather would have to be used. For more sophisticated projects a recording car properly fitted for the purpose is often employed. Such an arrangement, however, calls for the services of a recording technician as well. 22

As the recorded sound material is subjected to painstaking auditory analysis and will in most instances be deposited in a sound archive for future consultation, it should be the aim to make the audio-magnetic recordings of the highest standard, bearing in mind of course the field conditions under which the interviewing takes place. Professional tape recorders, reel-to-reel, should be used where possible as domestic equipment is hardly suitable, and great care should be taken in choosing the right machine. The technical requirements for such equipment are further considered in the appropriate chapter of this publication.

As the fieldworker is at the same time the interviewer and the recordist, a high quality portable recorder which can be operated where there is no electricity supply, if needs be, should be chosen. Consideration must be given to microphones which match the recorder. Two high quality condenser microphones of compact size, one for the interviewer and one for the informant, are at present the best means of coping with recording two persons. Such a microphone can easily be clipped on to an article of clothing and arranged at an appropriate distance from the speaker's mouth. The voice level for interviewer and informant can then be adjusted separately.

An alternative method is to use a cardioid response dynamic microphone positioned on a boom arm stand. The microphone can be placed between interviewer and informant, again at an angle taking into account the voice levels of each.

Stereo recordings are far more difficult to complete and require specialist expertise. In spite of the great strides made in developing compact cassette recorders they do not appear as yet to equal reel-to-reel recordings in performance.

Additional equipment will have to be acquired for use at the archive. Here, listening in detail to field recordings in order to analyze the speech sounds of each variety and prepare phonetic transcriptions calls for a playback system that reproduces faithfully and clearly what has been recorded. It should comprise a tape recorder deck that can withstand periods of intensive use in replaying portions of tape, a good amplifier system and a separate loudspeaker. No erase head is required on the tape recorder since it might cause accidental erasures. Greater clarity in reproducing a recording at any required sound level can often be achieved by using a pair of headphones and their use has the advantage of not disturbing other people in the vicinity to the same degree.

For preparing copies of tape recordings other tape recorders are required and where funds allow the purchase of studio equipment should be considered.

A great deal of time is taken up at the archive in listening to the contents of tapes and to particular sound qualities within the 'utterances' (i.e. the complete response offered by the informant) so as to prepare accurate transcriptions. Two other pieces of equipment are useful aids in this listening process. The one is a 'tape-repeater' by means of which parts of an utterance can be selected from the interview tape and re-recorded on to a tape loop on another tape-deck. As its name suggests, this recording can then be repeated any number of times without having to replay the interview tape interminably. The complete section or parts of it can be concentrated on in greater detail to further the analysis. An even more specific portion of speech can be analyzed by means of the 'speech segmentator'. As before a portion of the interview tape is re-recorded and any brief part of the speech event - the onset to a particular consonant, the offglide of a vowel - can be isolated for repetitive listening and closer analysis.

  1. Hedblom, 'The tape recording of dialect for linguistic sound archives', in Svenska Landsmåal och Svenskt Folkliv; 1961; pp. 51-100

Archival considerations

Collecting in the field will result in the creation of manuscript and recorded material, to be sent back to the archive centre holding all the collected data. This data will obviously be used by researchers working on the immediate projects being undertaken, but it must be borne in mind that both the manuscript and the sound recorded material can serve the needs of different researchers and that other scholars may wish to consult it from time to time. As linguistic surveys are costly, further investigations of a similar kind are unlikely to be undertaken again for some time. Consequently if the collected data is to be readily usable, certain archival considerations have to be heeded before fieldwork has begun and the data, as it accrues, must be kept in a properly organized archive. The magnetic sound recordings should, of course, be stored under suitable conditions in the archive.

An appropriately designed answer book is used for taking down transcriptions of the speech forms of the informants. It is arranged in such a way that each answer correlates with a numbered question in the dialect questionnaire which is to be used to collect the data. A completed answer book will contain the data of one informant, each item in it being his answer to a question and the whole representing a variety of speech from one area. An extra column is usually provided to note down any 'incidental' material; that is, any further expressions used in the community which exemplify a particular speech form or any similar words having the same meaning.

Biographical details of the informant are also noted down so as to identify a data sample and, from each locality investigated, a number of such answer books will be produced. This will be the working programme throughout the whole area being surveyed. From these answer books the data necessary for mapping work, for example, will be abstracted.

Vocabular items collected when undertaking fieldwork related to lexicographical projects should be entered directly on to index cards, all of a specified size. These will come together in the archive and will be arranged according to a manner of indexing previously established. The information on each card should be set out according to a prescribed form. Normally it will include the index word in the standard language; the spoken form, which may be in transcription; its meaning, with complete utterances to illustrate its use. The card also shows the region from which the information was obtained, the collector's name, the questionnaire number and date of investigation. Thus one card contains details of a single meaning given to a word. All the fieldworkers, including voluntary collectors, should be taught to note down lexical items in this way, as this procedure will reduce considerably any recopying work which otherwise might have become necessary.

The vocabularies can be arranged in a single alphabetical index or in collections according to regions, as is required. With modern photo-copying devices copies of cards can be made so that different arrangements of the same material· is possible.

In section 4(c) of this chapter attention has already been drawn to the necessity of achieving the highest technical standards possible in field recording. Similar care and investment is needed in the archive to ensure the permanent preservation of recorded material. The main factors to be considered are the choice of tape, of tape formats and of recording speeds as well as the copying, packaging and storage of the archive collection. Regular conservation procedures should also be carried out. Readers should study Chapter 2 of this publication, and the associated references listed in Appendix A, for detailed advice on these subjects.

5. Field investigations

Before undertaking actual collecting in the field, three matters need to be brought together. Firstly, a representative sample of all the locations where the fieldworker will collect data must be listed. Obviously, previous knowledge through published surveys and descriptions of variations in the language, as well as information on settlement history, the geographical features, and the effects of administrative boundaries will determine the coverage which will be deemed necessary. 23 Secondly, the linguistic questionnaire will by now be in a form which can be used in the field. It will contain, as we saw, all the possible phonic distinctions and their contextual variations, as well as the vocabular variation which can be expected. 24 These items will have been grouped around topics related to the everyday life with which the informant is familiar. Thus hearth, hob, ashes and tongs will be in a section on 'the fireplace'. Thirdly, how the interview should be conducted should be decided - the way the questions are to be framed,25 and whether the whole interviewing is to be tape recorded and, if so, how it should be done.

The practical aspect of a linguistic survey means, then, undertaking a field trip armed with questionnaire, answer-books, list of locations and sound recording equipment. The initial task in any location is to choose a suitable informant. A native of the area who has also resided there and whose speech is strongly representative of the local spoken language should, in most cases, be able to provide the expected data. Ability to hear well and to have clear articulation are also favoured. The informant will be the fieldworker's vital source in obtaining the necessary speech-forms, and the success of the whole undertaking depends on setting up a creative working relationship with him so that the local forms can be elicited without too much difficulty. Good results depend on tact and patience. 26

An accurate phonetic transcription of the informants' responses is essential if we are to understand the particular encoding of the spoken language offered by them. The answers are, therefore, taken down in a 'narrow' phonetic transcription, using the alphabet of the International Phonetic Association. 27 This may be undertaken in the course of the interviewing or, as has been more usual in recent surveys, from the tape recordings completed at each visit. Equipment which has already been mentioned can aid in the process.

  1. Dieth, E, and Orton, H. A Questionnaire for a Linguistic Atlas of England. Leeds: Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society; 1952: p. v.
  2. McIntosh, A. Introduction to a Survey of Scottish Dialects; Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh; 1952; pp.41-44
  3. Dieth and Orton, op.cit.,
  4. ibid., vii; see also Samarin, W.J. Field Linguistics: A Guide to Linguistic Field Work; New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston; 1967; 'The eliciting technique', pp.106-129
  5. Abercrombie, D. 'The Recording of dialect material' in Orbis: Bulletin international de Documentation Linguistique, Vol.iii; 1954; pp.231-235

6. Post fieldwork tasks

The products of fieldwork - vocabular cards, answer books and sound recordings - as they accumulate in the archive centre need to be registered clearly and stored carefully, as well as the biographical details for each informant and any interview notes evaluating the type of data collected. They are now available for the next stages of the project. 28 Analysis, appraisal and editing of what has been collected must get under way with a view to preparing the final publications intended. The studies which we have discussed will result in dialect dictionaries, in descriptive monographs of varieties of speech within regions, in dialect atlases, as well as in numerous studies dealing with aspects of linguistic behaviour which are reflected in the data collected in the field. The advantage of having sound recordings as well as manuscript data is clear. The informant's original contribution will be there to be consulted by ensuing scholars. But what has been acquired for study is a sample - wide-ranging or restricted according to the initial planning and the type of project undertaken - of a brief state of the language influenced by sociocultural factors and moulded by the thrusts of preceding centuries in the course of its perpetual development in time.

  1. On copyright see Flint, M.F. A User's Guide to Copyright; London: Butterworths, 1979

8. Ethnomusicology (Dietrich Schuller)

1. Introduction

In the course of its history ethnomusicology has come to include a whole series of different areas of scholarship. In the classical sense of the word it is generally understood to mean the study of the music of illiterate peoples and social groups which pass down their music orally. It encompasses all the musical expressions of the so-called primitive races, together with what we in the Western hemisphere term traditional folk music. But, from its very beginning, ethnomusicology has also included the study of the music of the non-European high cultures. However, its scope is not limited merely to music in its narrower sense. It also takes in dance, as well as other quasi-musical means of communication such as by drum language. Some of its proponents see ethnomusicology as a branch of musicology, while other scholars lay particular stress not only on the question of musical forms, but also on the view of music as a form of human action within a particular socio-cultural context.

The widening spread of communications across the whole globe, progress in the field of electronics and the boom in the media, particularly since the Second World War, have brought a wider crossfertilization of various cultures as well as the growth of entirely new sub-cultural areas. While one group of ethnomusicologists might feel particularly bound during such a period of change to seek so-called 'authentic, traditional music', another group is conducting research into the products of acculturation or into the types of music common to much broader population bands. It is this latter group of researchers which is beginning to leave behind the traditional areas of music research and more and more is making the focal point of its increasingly sociologically rooted studies city-based musicians and their reciprocal relationship with 'hits', pop music, classical music and 'genuine' folk music.

The different routes being taken in research might be seen as a quadripolar field of tension between tradition and progress, musicology and anthropology or sociology. Running alongside, above and even right through them, there is also an area of research which is essentially rooted in psychomusicology and psychoacoustics and which seeks to investigate the psychosomatic effects of music. The reason why this type of research and its practical applications, such as musical therapy, are expanding so rapidly· lies above all in the speed with which the relevant electronic apparatus for acoustic analysis and synthesis is being developed.

All areas of ethnomusicology, however, share as their common base, and regard as by far and away their most important source, the sound recording. It is easy to explain the reasons for its dominant role. In the case of historical musicology, dedicated as it is to the study of the musical products of the West which have been handed down in written form, source material comes in the shape of musical notation of compositions which can be visually studied and, therefore, analysed and described. In the case of music passed down by oral tradition, however, this written, visual record has first to be made before analysis and description become possible. In the past, trained scholars might well have been able to produce extraordinary transcriptions of music directly after hearing it, but it was only with the invention of sound recording techniques that a medium became available with which scholars were offered an opportunity to examine the music in detail by the means of a play-back after the event. Just how essential sound recording was to become, was demonstrated by J.A. Ellis' studies of various musical scales which are generally regarded as the beginning of ethnomusicology. He showed that the Western tonal system was definitely not a 'natural' one, let along the only valid one, but rather that the vast majority of non-European tonal systems differed enormously from it and from each other.

Thus the European system of notation which serves perfectly for performing artists familiar with our culture, was suddenly shown to be inadequate for the detailed work of transcription of musics of foreign origin. Despite certain adaptations, this drawback continues to exist. Consequently, aural transcriptions ceased to be of central importance to many scholars who, instead, gave greater credence to automatic transcriptions (see also section 7) as a basis for objective analysis.

But sound recording provides more than just the basis for the transcription of a melody. It provides a more or less accurate picture of all the physical phenomena which come under the heading of music, and reproduces music in all its complexity of melody, harmony, rhythm and timbre. It has become, therefore, the basis of a musicology which goes well beyond the study of melody and it is interesting to observe how Western historical musicology, which for so long had used notation as its basic source, has only recently discovered the value of sound documentation and has begun to conduct systematic studies of interpretation.

The history of ethnomusicology is, therefore, inseparably bound up with that of sound recording and sound archives.

In 1890 the anthropologist Jesse Walter Fewkes pioneered the use of the phonograph when he recorded songs of the Passamaquoddy Indians. In Europe, the Hungarian Béla Vikár is regarded as its pioneer for his work in recording traditional folk music and dialects. With the opening in 1899 of the Phonogramrnarchiv (Phonographic Archive) of the Academy of Sciences in Vienna, the first scientific sound archive in the world was established, having as its aim the systematic collection of this new type of source material by the production, acquisition and preservation of sound recordings for all areas of scholarship. This was followed in 1900 by the Société d' Anthropologie in Paris; in 1900-05 by the Phonogrammarchiv in Berlin, whose first director was the ethnomusicologist Erich M. von Hornbostel; and in 1902-03 by a sound archive in Leningrad. Alongside these archives, collections of sound recordings were built up in museums and libraries and later by radio stations which, especially in England and Japan, paid particular attention to traditional folk music.

While in the early days phonographs were used for field recordings, from the 1920s onwards the gramophone also came to be used. But it was not until the 1950s and the development of transistorised tape recorders that devices were introduced which made phonographic field research possible on a grand scale.

Throughout Eastern Europe the systematic phonographic documentation of each nation's musical wealth has been conducted on an enormous scale and in most of these countries the total number of ethnomusicological recordings exceeds the 100,000 mark. In the West, in the meantime, many regional research institutions were directing their efforts towards recording the musical folklore of their countries. Again, it was the great centres of ethnomusicology at Berlin, Vienna, Paris, Amsterdam, Washington, Bloomington and Los Angeles, to name but a few, which paid particular attention to recording the musical cultures of non-European countries. Happily, these have been joined in recent times by a growing number of research centres in African and Asian countries. Encouraged not least by UNESCO policy, with programmes such as The Ten Year Plan for the Preservation and Promotion of the Performing Arts and Music in Africa and Asia, African and Asian ethnomusicologists are increasingly receiving the support of their governments which, more than ever, are taking an interest in the study and preservation of their national cultural wealth as an essential component of the heritage of the whole of humanity.

2. Acquiring material: recording programmes

Within the space of this short survey it is not possible to deal with the question of archival programmes for every method of approach and every school of research in ethnomusicology. However, a few observations on the principal possibilities may usefully serve for illustrative purposes.

Particularly at a time of rapid cultural changes, more and more research should be given over to traditions which are threatened by these changes and may be in danger of disappearing altogether. In cases where musical styles or musical instruments are in danger of dying out because of the age of performers or because new generations have adopted different styles, even a researcher who takes an unromantic view of life and does not pass qualitative judgements on cultural changes, will be formulating recording programmes which will be devoted to at least the documentary preservation of these aspects of music. Where there is no list of priorities for such urgent programmes, one can be drawn up based on a general survey. If, on the basis of a thorough survey, a list of priorities is established, then it is essential that a balance be retained between personal research interests and inherent necessities as seen from the viewpoint of the culture in question. Ethnocentric preconceptions and western concepts of art should not be allowed to dominate one's views, and care should be taken to ensure that the wishes and self respect of the individual proponents of tradition are given due regard. Minorities should be given particular attention. The smaller their numbers, the greater consideration they should receive, particularly when they have been subject to pressures of acculturation and integration.

As the organizational pre-requisites of recording vary enormously from case to case, it is possible here to give no more than a few general guidelines. Where it is a case of programmes being conducted well away from the site of the research institution itself, it will be necessary to remain in the field for some time, although just how long depends on how well acquainted the researcher is with his informants or with the subject of his research. The researcher who is willing to make do with a recording specially arranged for his purposes, with its consequent lack of immediacy and its lower degree of authenticity, can generally put together appreciably more material in a shorter space of time than one who insists on contextual authenticity. Despite the lower level of productivity, however, it is easy to understand why the latter approach is nonetheless becoming increasingly popular. For, unlike Western concert music, most ethnic music simply cannot continually be restaged without losing certain ritual, psychic or atmospheric conditions which are pre-requisites for the creation of genuine music.

If a recording programme is designed to produce comprehensive documentation, then a twelve month stay in the field, or at least several extended visits at different times of the year, will be necessary if all the festivities which take place in the course of a year are to be taken in.

By contrast, programmes devoted to the study of the music of the present in its social context and acculturated state require a different approach. Intricately bound up with this approach is the demand that recordings of music should be absolutely live, so that one captures not only the music itself but the whole occasion i.e. its atmosphere and every interaction between the performers and the audience. With this form of sound documentation the foundation is laid for a type of musicological research going beyond the mere examination of melodies. If such research studies are to be established, one should first of all gain a thorough familiarity with the culture or region in question by examining previous studies. As a practical exercise in familiarizing himself with this approach fieldwork within the researcher's own home area could also be useful. A network of reliable informants who can provide advance notice of events such as weddings, funerals and so on is indispensable. A rapid form of transport, which generally means a car, and a willingness on the part of the researcher to give freely of his spare time, are just two of the basic pre-requisites for this sort of programme. Although the researcher has to be prepared for any chance eventuality, his programme still has to fit into a framework which will provide a regional, stylistic and contextual balance in much the same way as a well-planned sampling does.

Whatever the subject of research, it should be remembered that sound recording provides an ideal basis for diachronic studies. When several recordings are to be made of one informant, one subject or of similar situations, the (relative) objectivity of sound recording allows one to draw certain valid conclusions about stability and change; that is about the dynamic nature of culture. This facility to record the same subject a number of times over also helps us to distinguish more easily between chance and normative occurrences. One can trace both the development of an individual musician and his style, as well as the development of the whole musical context in which a tradition has grown up. Just how long one should leave between one recording and the next depends on the subject under investigation, but one should never leave too long a gap. Similarly, it is impossible to lay down a general rule on the number of recordings which should be made of one subject; this may be expected to vary between one study and another.

We have already touched upon the main difficulties of choosing a subject for recording when we discussed how research interests can sometimes conflict with the inherent viewpoint of the culture. In the same way, different levels of awareness and understanding can dominate in these cultures, with the result that political or social authorities, for example, might recommend a different viewpoint from that of the musician. The researcher might well find himself in the middle of a potential conflict situation, when faced with the problem of choosing subjects or occasions for recording. Each recording situation, therefore, demands a measure of skill in trying to avoid conflicts of interest or in balancing them out among the various groups within the society which is being examined, if a suitable order of priorities is to be established for research programmes.

3. Recording practice

The physical-technical definition of sound recording is dealt with briefly in the technical chapter of this publication. Methodologically, a recording of a musical event cannot be seen separately from the role of the researcher.

By his very presence the person recording exerts an influence on his subject, regardless of whether he sets the recording up (i.e. is responsible for the production taking place at all) or whether he is merely attending a musical performance which would have taken place anyway. Apart from the general behaviour of the person making a recording, the deciding factor in the question of the degree to which a recording is influenced can lie in the technical circumstances under which it is produced. In the classical area of ethnomusicology the 'subject' is likely to be a musician bound by the society in which he lives and so, as a rule, it is better to avoid recording in a studio (which might well be free from extraneous noises, but which places the musician in unfamiliar surroundings). This rule may be ignored in cases where the informants are quite used to speaking into a microphone or in making demonstration recordings of instruments. In general, however, recording should be done on location; that is in surroundings and in an atmosphere with which the person being recorded is familiar.

All location recording should begin as unobtrusively and with as little fuss as possible, keeping the number of those involved in the recording to a minimum. Just as the use of a radio car can arouse false expectations, an official government vehicle can cause unnecessary anxiety. Also, no more than two people at once should normally produce the recording. The extent to which measures taken to improve technical quality (for example whether to record in a quiet, seldom used room in the house, or to remove ticking clocks and so on) might disturb the openness of the musician and in turn affect the recording has to be decided on the merits of each case. In the same way one should avoid too much technical gadgetry or drawn out tests for correct microphone positions. However, one should never, at any cost, interrupt a recording because of actual or suspected faults, as quite commonly happens in commercial recordings.

The reduction in technical gadgetry is directly related to the fact that, until recently, in the field of ethnomusicology most recordings were produced in mono, using only one microphone. Increasingly, however, stereo equipment is being used for various recording techniques. Apart from the standard spaced and coincident microphone techniques (or AB-and XY stereophony), binaural techniques are coming to be used more and more. In this technique, similar to dummy head recording, the microphone distance is approximately 17 cm, corresponding to the average distance between the human ears. This has the advantage that, relatively speaking, microphone locations are not critical and quite acceptable recordings can be achieved even from 'impossible' positions which inevitably occur in some live recording session. This technique has even stood the test of concerts in which the music is performed with electronic stage amplification and the recording has to convey the sound as it is heard by the audience. This method of recording is especially useful because it can be carried out by just one person and requires scarcely any more complex equipment than for a mono recording. Of course, recordings of this sort can only really be fully appreciated by listening to them on headphones.

In cases where one is already quite familiar with a particular culture or its representatives, more intricate techniques might be used in order to carry out some kinds of investigations, such as using multitrack tapes to improve the clarity of individual voices for transcription purposes. Such intricacies, however, require careful preparation as they constitute a serious incursion into the actual musical situation and should, therefore, be kept to an absolute minimum. In contrast to practices in commercial recording, all aesthetic alterations to the original sound, such as filtering, should be avoided.

While getting something down on tape is important, keeping written and, if need be, photographic documentation is also an essential aspect of recording. The written record should include the date and place of the recording, details of the subject, descriptions of the content of the recording and of the circumstances which led to its being made, as well as the technical data of the recording itself. Playing a recording through as soon as possible after it has been made is a highly recommended course to follow, because then the details of the event concerned can still be remembered clearly and the opportunity remains to interview the informants again if necessary. It is for this reason the tape recorder is being used more and more often and because it has proved to be extremely valuable if informants are also allowed to give their personal views on music in the form of an interview.

4. Other acquisition sources

If the coverage of a subject or programme is to be comprehensive, then it is often necessary to exploit sources other than the recording activities of one's own institution in order to acquire appropriate acoustic material. In this respect one should consider co-operating with outside researchers who have similar research interests and who, in return for help with practical aspects and equipment, will supply material to the archive. It would make good sense for those institutions which are responsible for preserving the cultural heritage of particular regions or countries to follow such a policy and to do their utmost to collect historical material as well. For this reason they should make contact with other institutions and private collectors, as well as with radio stations, record producers and foreign sound archives. Newly established sound archives in Third World countries have already begun to enhance the historical content of their national collections by systematically collecting previously recorded material from these other sources.

5. Processing and accessioning of archival material

Sound recordings rarely come in such a form that they can immediately be stored in the recommended fashion, and so the production of archival or security copies lies at the heart of the work of archival processing. While this work is being done recordings can also be re-examined to establish whether the whole of the raw material or just a selection should be kept. The watchword in this process should always be to alter the actual recording as little as possible. Recordings should retain their original length; for instance, if several songs were performed and recorded one after another, then the whole recording should be kept as an integral unit. Comments and reactions at the beginning and end of a recording can often be very revealing and, therefore, should also be copied. One should always avoid any element of aesthetic filtering when transferring a recording although, of course, a written note should be kept of any of the technical shortcomings of the original.

The best method of keeping tapes (an important point for retrieval purposes) has proved to be that of copying the recordings onto reasonably sized spools (minimum 18 cm diameter) in the sequence in which they were recorded or accessioned and to use signals on the tape to distinguish individual recordings from one another (see also the technical chapter of this publication). Accessioning should follow a single numerical sequence, because even small institutions will find it difficult in the long run to continue classifying recordings according to regions, groups, informants or content. This method also mixes up recordings of different technical origins, making technical quality control impossible. What is more, if one classifies material according to cultural theories, these arrangements may often become obsolete.

In contrast to libraries, where catalogues are just used to locate fairly standard and well described published items, academic research archives are obliged to employ more complex methods of registering the contents of their holdings. For this the best method to use is a form resembling a questionnaire, giving details of the production of the recording, its content, what textual and musical transcriptions have been made and what illustrative or photographic documentation accompanies it. In multi-disciplinary archives these forms need to be relatively open-ended but, in institutions bound by limits of subject matter and region, very detailed lists of headings can be worked out.

The question of what form indices should take is something which has to be decided according to the scope and content of the archive. In the field of ethnomusicology, it is the performing musician who normally takes on the role of composer in Western classical music and so he will be the focal point of any finding aid. Performers should be classified according to ethnic groups, but cross-references should always be made according to neutral geographical and political headings. In regional archives, specializing in traditional music, the range of such indices should go down to the level of individual villages and parts of villages. There is also every sense in indexing collections according to musical instruments, musical styles and genres, and perhaps titles in the case of instrumental pieces and songs. Difficulties arise when attempts are made to index collections on the basis of the socio-cultural context of the music, because the categories in each case will be determined by the culture in question and the outlook of the researcher, both of which factors may change with time. The best index, therefore, will be one which does not over-emphasise detail and, in the absence of an anthropological thesaurus, one whose content is not too closely bound to one school of research.

A standardized system of classification along the lines of that used by librarians for indexing books is probably a long way off yet, and for the moment the problems of cataloguing edited source material (such as musical records) alongside books, using the same standard scheme for both, are enormous. Ethnographic acoustic material, which in part calls for completely different classification criteria, is likely to resist any binding form of standardization for a long time to come. Of course, as far as the user is concerned, the most convenient form of access to information is likely to remain the computer. Computers, however, only really serve any purpose if they are to be used for dealing with a massive complex of subject matter and if rapid information retrieval is genuinely necessary, in which circumstances utility and expense are balanced against each other.

6. Personnel

Even though the pioneers of ethnomusicology were skilled physicists, chemists and lawyers, nowadays it is essential to employ academically trained staff to carry out research, recording and archival work. Employing enthusiasts and self-taught people as assistants can often pay dividends, but the programme planners and policy-makers should always be people trained and qualified in ethnomusicology. As indicated in the technical chapter it is extremely important to employ technicians, even in relatively small research units involved with the collection of acoustic material and its preservation for future generations. While in a small unit the technician can sometimes be employed on routine copying work, in a larger operation he will probably require a technical assistant for this. But recording, particularly location recording, should be left to academically trained personnel, if the need to keep to a minimum the external influences exerted on a recorded event is to be achieved in practice, and if technology is always to be made to serve research responsibly and conclusively. Even in producing archival copies it is best to use academic staff and not a technician. Not only is this labour-saving, it can also provide a further opportunity to select and document the material. It is especially important to follow these principles if the archive's technical staff have been recruited from radio organizations; their broadcasting experience might be used to persuade the often impressionable archivist that certain commercial studio practices are 'professional'. The job description for an archive technician, therefore, should always specify a service technician rather than a sound technician or sound engineer.

A professional collector/archivist should be capable of recording, accessioning and cataloguing about fifty hours of ethnomusicological material a year. If he is just accessioning other people's material, rather than recording it himself, he should be able to deal with up to a hundred hours of recordings. The work capacity can be increased, although not necessarily at an even ratio, if routine jobs are delegated to a research assistant. Archivists might find it quite useful to share one such assistant between two of them. Experience has also shown that for every three or four professional archivists, there should be one administrative assistant.

Finally, it should be noted that from a practical point of view it can be very helpful if actual members of the group being studied are used to conduct research. It is particularly worthwhile considering this when selecting staff for research programmes relating to minority groups.

7. Evaluation

Because their range is so large, conventional methods of evaluating ethnomusicological material cannot be covered by this study. However, it is worthwhile devoting some space to the subject of automated methods of evaluation which are becoming more and more feasible with the developments being made in the field of electronics. The most prominent of these methods are melography (melodic transcription) and sonography (acoustic analysis using a sonograph).

The melograph, which comes in many varied forms, gives a continuous transcription of a melody in diagrammatic form, showing the pitch and length of each note. Apart from the basic difficulty of converting this diagrammatic read-out back into a format in which it can be widely understood, it also presents other major obstacles which prevent its wider application. It requires, for instance, recordings having an excellent signal-to-noise ratio, which is not always available. It also registers interference as part of the signal, it records some notes as being an octave higher than they actually are and, finally, it cannot be used for polyphonic music. Before the automatic read-out can be interpreted, therefore, it requires close critical examination.

While machines for the automatic transcription of two or multi-part music have not yet passed the prototype stage, the sonograph is already being widely used. This device provides an analysis of frequency against time, albeit only in relatively short sections of music lasting no more than a few seconds, but it provides a precise graph of individual harmonics. It is eminently suitable for delineating acoustic phenomena and, although restricted by the fact that it is laborious to operate, it can at least be used, for short pieces, for transcribing polyphonic music. It needs to be remembered, of course, that converting its read-out into conventional musical notation is extremely complicated. The applications of the sonograph go well beyond musicology and it has become a standard piece of equipment in phonetic and bio-acoustic analysis.

Finally, mention should be made of the various digital analytical and synthetic processes which are now emerging and which are being developed in various research projects. These techniques will bring decisive advances in the automation of analysis, even within the next ten years. Besides frequently requiring huge financial outlays, these methods will need intensive practical research and continual critical analysis. Only when we are prepared to provide the means of meeting these conditions can a proper appraisal of these techniques be made. This would also be an opportune point at which to establish from the outset a broad, even inter-disciplinary base for co-operation. It is essential for the success of audio-analytical programmes to insist on high technical standards or at least a thorough documentation of whatever standards are in operation, if one is to avoid the risk of interpreting any imperfections which occur in a recording as part of the original signals.

8. Legal problems

In conclusion we should take a brief look at some of the legal problems involved in collecting, accessioning and distributing ethnomusicological material.

Generally, contracts or at least agreements are essential at the following levels:

between the musician and the person making the recording;

between the person making the recording and the archive;

between the archive and other institutions or individuals to whom material is to be given.

In every case the institution should endeavour to reach an agreement which allows it the maximum possible control over the material it acquires and, as far as practicable, which precludes any possibility of the material being abused. The first problems are likely to arise in reaching agreement with musicians. Artists working in Western cultures will be quite sympathetic in this respect, but in the case of illiterate peoples it will inevitably cause some measure of confusion and arouse false expectations, which in turn will eventually detract from the genuine and honest nature of the informant and, therefore, of the end product of the recording. In all such cases it is best to remunerate the musician in accordance with accepted local norms thus effectively purchasing the rights over the recording's usage. In the field of European folk music it is often customary to pay the musician nothing if the recording is being made for academic use, on the understanding that it will not be used for commercial purposes. In allowing access to an archive, one should take care to remember that composers have a penchant for taking traditional music as the basis for adaptions, which then go on to earn them money, while the originator of the music receives nothing. It is the duty of institutions with holdings of this sort to give full consideration to the 1nterests of all parties concerned. In this they are faced with the problem of copyright which, being based on Western concepts of culture, is often difficult to apply to music in the ethnological field.

9. Folklore (Robert Georges)

1. Introduction

As human beings interact on a daily basis, they express themselves through a finite number of readily familiar and easily distinguishable communicative processes and forms. Singing, musicmaking, dancing, playing and storytelling, for example, are processes by means of which men and women characterize their perceptions, reveal their aspirations and fears, transmit to others their conceptions and interpretations of memorable events, teach and reinforce social norms and values, and occupy the leisure hours of the day. The deeds of historical and idealized heroes are portrayed in story and song; life-cycle events are celebrated through ritual and dance; and natural and supernatural phenomena are depicted visually on material objects and symbolically through the roles and movements of people at play. Human beings' abilities to express their thoughts and feelings through readily familiar and easily distinguishable communicative processes and forms differentiate their species from all others and justify their claim to uniqueness.

Because they have been in existence continuously through recorded time and universally through space, communicative processes such as storytelling, singing, playing, dancing, and musicmaking can be viewed as traditions deserving of documentation and study because of the fundamental roles they play in the lives of all human beings. Similarly, specific songs, stories, tunes, dances, rituals, proverbs, riddles, games, and objects, once created, often become models which others imitate or emulate. A well-constructed narrative plot, for example, may not only be remembered, but it may also serve as a foundation for multiple storytellings, in each of which the same basic character types and series of integrated actions are discernible. A proverb, once created, may be spoken on a variety of social occasions because of its aptness to the behaviour of the participants or to an event which is the topic of their discourse. A set of realistic figures or geometric designs, once painted on pottery or woven into cloth by one person, may be reproduced or transformed by others because of its beauty or its relevance to their relative status, position or worldview. Like communicative processes, expressive forms and specific examples or aspects of them which seem, because of the similarities they exhibit, to be frequently imitated or emulated, repeated or reproduced, modified or transformed can also be viewed as traditional phenomena or simply as traditions; and they are worthy of documentation and study because they constitute evidence of continuities or consistencies in human thought or behaviour through time or space respectively. It is those communicative processes, forms, and examples or aspects of them which human beings view as traditional or simply as traditions that can be identified either collectively or individually as folklore; and it is those communicative processes, forms, and examples or aspects of them which appear to be traditional for the whole human species, for members of specific societies or social sub-groups, or for particular individuals that serve as the phenomena upon which folklorists focus in their investigations and that constitute the data-base for their field of inquiry, a field that can be identified as either folklore studies or folkloristics.

2. Sources and resources

Because the traditional communicative processes and forms which folklorists focus upon are such an integral part of human social existence, opportunities to observe, elicit, and document examples of folklore are literally limitless. Children play familiar games in village squares and on city streets, for example, where their behaviour is subject to scrutiny by the casual observer or the interested passer-by. The telling of jokes and anecdotes which have readily-recognizable structures, themes, and styles occurs regularly in the course of everyday interactions. Musicmaking, singing and dancing frequently evolve spontaneously at family and small-group gatherings. Formulaic greetings, oft-repeated idioms, and proverbial speech recur with surprising regularity in casual conversations and formal addresses. Objects characterized by conventional forms and identifiable decorative motifs are produced, exchanged, and utilized by peoples everywhere. Human groups ranging from hunters and farmers to students and doctors all develop special jargons and create and perpetuate rituals, the existence of which is often known to 'outsiders' as well as to group members. Hence, one need not travel to exotic places, seek out some selected segment of the human population, or wait until some special time to find examples of what we call folklore, for the pervasiveness of traditional communicative processes and forms is everywhere apparent. The word folk in the compound folklore refers not to one kind or class-of people, but to human beings in general; and lore includes activities ranging from housebuilding, furnituremaking, and cooking to storytelling, dancing, and singing; and it encompasses expressive forms ranging from tangible objects such as chairs, pottery, and baskets to such intangible phenomena as songs, stories, tunes and beliefs.

While opportunities to discern examples of traditional communicative processes and forms arise spontaneously and unexpectedly whenever and wherever human beings interact face to face, those examples of processes and forms which we can identify as folklore are often also generated or communicated at predetermined times or in predesignated places. In all societies, for example, the telling of certain kinds of stories is a family or community event, the time and place for which are known or stipulated in advance. Marriages, funerals, and initiation ceremonies are always prearranged, with the kinds of activities marking these major life-cycle transitional stages being based upon well-established models. Dates and sites for such calendar celebrations as harvest rituals, religious ceremonies, and holiday festivals are known in advance, as are the nature and sequence of the activities which distinguish these occasions from all others. Preplanning enables one to witness or to obtain information about such scheduled events and to test hypotheses about the part folklore plays in their unfolding, enactment, and perpetuation.

In addition to being observable or discernible in the course of normal, day-ta-day interactions or as integral aspects of special events which occur only in particular places or at specified times, examples of what we call folklore can also be elicited, described, and discussed through impromptu or formalized interviewing. The expressive nature of the communicative processes and forms which folklorists focus upon makes these phenomena readily segmentable from a human being's experience continuum. Though the precise criteria which enable us to do so are not yet fully known or understood, all human beings seem able to distinguish from everything else, and to conceptualize as unique, such processes as singing, dancing, musicmaking, or playing and such forms as story, song, dance or game. This ability makes it possible, in turn, for individuals to characterize or describe selected examples of the kinds of songs they and others know or sing, stories they and others know or tell, beliefs to which they and others subscribe, objects they and others can or do make, expressions they and others utilize, and so forth. Therefore, an individual functioning as an interviewer can elicit information about traditional communicative processes and examples of traditional communicative forms directly from other human beings; and this information and these examples can serve as data for a folklorist's inquiries, just as can information about, and examples of, traditional communicative processes and forms discerned more casually during daily interactions or noted during participation in scheduled events.

3. Documentation

As is the case with all human behaviours and phenomena, examples of folklore can be documented in a variety of ways. The oldest and most fundamental documentation technique, of course, is simply remembering what one perceives. Aware that proverbial expressions may be employed during virtually any first-hand interaction, for instance, folklorists can condition themselves to make 'mental note' of examples of proverbial speech and of specific occasions on which they are utilized as integral aspects of ordinary discourse. Traditional jokes, riddles, jargon terms, gestures, rhymes, and simple songs or melodies can be readily committed to memory; and when later recollected, these examples of folklore can be characterized and analyzed, either orally or in writing.

A second documentation technique entails making written records. The words a singer sings or a storyteller speaks can be represented fairly accurately in writing, and drawings or written descriptions can characterize adequately such tangible objects as buildings or cooking utensils. Whether they are verbatim transcriptions of riddles or myths, summaries of stories communicated by epics or ballads, or graphic depictions of house floorplans or body decorations, written records have a greater permanence than do human recollections; and they have served as folklorists' primary documents since the inception of their field.

Mechanical recording devices have been employed increasingly in recent years as substitutes for, or supplements to, the more conventional documentation techniques mentioned above. Still pictures and photographic slides can record the shape, colour, and design of such tangible objects as traditional items of clothing or pieces of pottery; and they can freeze for all time a moment in a dance or a movement pattern of people at play. Motion picture and videotape cameras enable one to document the dynamic nature of narrator-audience interactions, the finger, hand, and body movements of musicians, and the actions and reactions of participants in rituals. Whether presented alone or in conjunction with oral or written descriptions, photographic records of examples of folklore capture on film visual images which could otherwise only be documented by the human eye.

Of all the available mechanical recording devices, the tape recorder is the one that folklorists have used most extensively and the one that has had the greatest impact on their work. There are several reasons why this is so. First, among the traditional communicative processes and forms which have received the greatest amount of scholarly attention are storytelling and stories, singing and songs, musicmaking and tunes, riddling and riddles, healing and curing chants and incantations, and speaking and such speech forms as proverbs and statements which express beliefs, the aural aspects of all of which can be easily and accurately recorded on magnetic tape. Second, while folklorists gather their data by participating, observing, and interviewing, it is the last of these three that always has been, and continues to be, the principal means of eliciting information about, and examples of, traditional communicative processes and forms. Since interviewing entails questioning and answering and hence relies heavily upon speech or sound as the medium of communication, tape recording is a particularly efficient and effective way of documenting interviews. Finally, while the act of recording mechanically what people say, do, or make is often distracting, if not threatening, to those whose words, actions, or possessions are the phenomena being documented, the tape recorder has proved to be the least intrusive and the least objectionable mechanical recording device available. Most modern-day tape recorders are small, battery powered, and technologically reliable and efficient, making it possible for the folklorist to use a tape recorder with a minimum amount of time required for equipment set-up and operation and a lesser likelihood that the individuals recording or being recorded will be inconvenienced, distracted, or intimidated. For the above reasons, folklorists have come to regard the tape recorder as a very useful, if not essential, piece of equipment for their work; and sound recordings have taken their place alongside written records as primary documents in folkloristic research.

The documentation techniques which the folklorist chooses to utilize will depend, of course, upon a number of factors. First, and most obviously, the choice will be determined by the nature and number of options available. Individuals who do not possess mechanical recording devices such as tape recorders or cameras will have to rely upon memory and notetaking, while those who do have access to such devices will be able to select from an optimal number of alternatives. But availability alone does not necessarily make any preferred documentation technique employable or acceptable. A folklorist who is permitted to observe an esoteric ritual, for example, might be forbidden or judge it unwise to tape record the proceedings or to take notes, even though he or she feels that a taped or written documentation of the event might be more comprehensive or reliable than a mere memorytrace record of what he or she perceives. Similarly, photographing might be taboo to some individuals or groups, making it impossible or socially reprehensible for a folklorist to document on film a phenomenon which is the focus of study. Conversely, a researcher might be reluctant to use a camera or tape recorder while interviewing a particular individual, only to discover in the course of the interview that the informant would actually prefer or find it flattering to be tape recorded or filmed. Hence, availability, appropriateness, local custom or belief, and personal preference must all be considered as the folklorist attempts to determine which documentation techniques he or she can or should employ.

In addition to the above, the choice of documentation techniques also depends upon the kinds of information the folklorist seeks in order to test some specific hypothesis or to illustrate some particular phenomenon. An investigator interested in opening and closing formulas or modes of character portrayal in folktales, for instance, could document these phenomena in memory, in writing, or on magnetic tape; but it would be both inappropriate and unnecessarily cumbersome and expensive for him or her to film multiple storytellings in order to obtain the data needed to pursue these research interests. On the other hand, the folklorist wishing to document and analyze the nonverbal aspects of narrators' performances or of listeners' responses could not capture such information on tape and would miss much of it while trying to take notes; but his or her task would be greatly facilitated if he or she could film the narrators in performance or the narrator-listener interactions. Though some might recommend that folklorists record as much information as possible from or about the individuals who serve as their research subjects, it is neither practical nor necessary for them always to utilize the most comprehensive documentation techniques (such as motion picture or videotape cameras with sound) or to make multiple kinds of records (such as memory-trace, written, taped and filmed records) simply because the opportunity or equipment exists to enable one to do so. Inquiry is, by definition, always selective and focused; and there is nothing particularly commendable about gathering as much information as is humanly possible simply because it is available or about making multiple kinds of records merely because the means to do so are at one's disposal.

While the various kinds of documentation techniques described above facilitate the folklorist's work in particular ways, each also has obvious limitations. Human perception and memory are, by their very nature, selective, for human beings are neither aware of, nor can they remember, all the audible and visual stimuli that are generated during a given interaction or event. Therefore, we not only cannot remember everything we experience, but we also cannot experience all the sensory phenomena present in our environments. Making written records is a selective process, too, for we can only document in writing what we experience and what we can represent satisfactorily in that medium. Since writing is word oriented, we tend, in making written records, to record speech or that which can be characterized best through language; but many aspects of human behaviour -such as the tempo, stress patterns, and junctures integral to speech, grimaces, gestures, and other bodily movements, and emotional states and reactions - are either unrepresentable or poorly approximated on paper. Mechanical recording devices seem, on first thought, to be more all-encompassing and less selective means of making records than are mental or written notes; but they, too, have built-in and user limitations. Tape recorders document all sounds indiscriminately, not just those that are most relevant to an inquiry; they can pick up only audible, and not visual, stimuli; they must be used in preselected places to document sounds from predetermined sources; and they must be turned on and off at particular times by individual human beings. Cameras can record visible phenomena and sometimes a combination of the visible and audible, but they transform three-dimensional objects to two dimensions; and they must be focused and operated by human beings, acts which require their users to make prior judgments as to what will, and what will not, be recorded on film. These limitations of documentation techniques must be taken into consideration and compensated for in any description or analysis of the human phenomena of which they are merely partial and selective records.

4. Processing, ordering, storing and making accessible records of examples of folklore

Historically, the task of documenting examples of folklore has been undertaken for one of two reasons: first, to enable a researcher to test hypotheses or to answer questions integral to a specific inquiry or particular research project or, secondly, to develop data-banks or archives as repositories of information about, and examples of, traditional communicative processes and forms. Examples of folklore recorded to enable investigators to accomplish the objectives of their own individual inquiries or research projects are usually described or analyzed in presentations which have as their principal purposes to characterize the nature and to present the results of the inquiry or project. These presentations may be performance or product-oriented, with the former being exemplified by lecture-demonstrations or papers delivered orally at scholarly or popular meetings and with the latter being illustrated by phonograph recordings, photographic exhibitions, ethnographic films, or, most commonly, published essays, monographs, and books. Data presented during such performances or through such products are always 'processed' in advance, since their gatherers, describers, or analysts always select for presentation the information and examples which are most relevant to the objectives of, and conclusions drawn from, their inquiries or research projects. The actual documents from which the data are abstracted are seldom available for examination by anyone other than the investigator who conducted the inquiry or research project, unless, of course, that individual contributes those documents to a folklore archive, in which case they may be made available to other researchers for their perusal and possible use.

Examples of folklore gathered specifically to develop databanks are usually contributed to folklore archives in whatever form or format the archivist specifies or requests. Most folklore archives throughout the world are housed in colleges, universities, or headquarters of such organizations as national, state, or local historical societies; and most archives accept written, tape recorded, and filmed records which contain information about, or examples of, traditional communicative processes and forms. The folklore data contained in such documents are usually 'unprocessed', in that those who contribute them to archives seldom abstract the data from the resource documents or order or analyze these data in any particular way, leaving such tasks to archive personnel and users.

Data ordering and storage vary considerably from archive to archive, making it difficult to describe any 'typical' organizational plan or to prescribe anyone set of archiving procedures. Since the inception of folkloristics, most archives have ordered data according to process and form, with all information about storytelling or singing and all examples of stories or songs being kept together, for instance. Such an arrangement can be said to be 'genre-oriented', and archives so organized can facilitate best the research of those interested in obtaining information about some specific traditional communicative process (such as riddling or dancing) and examples of some particular traditional communicative form (such as proverbs or music). Genre-oriented archives tend to favour verbally-dominated processes and forms (such as singing and songs or storytelling and tales) over object-oriented processes and forms (such as basket-making and baskets or housebuilding and housetypes) and to prefer written records or representations of the information or examples they store. Hence, archive contributors or personnel usually transcribe from tape recordings information about, or examples of, the process or form in question or describe in writing the kinds of phenomena documented in photographs, slides, and motion picture films. The transcribed segments of magnetic tapes or written descriptions of filmed phenomena then become the principal archival research documents and are ordered according to process or form headings and subheadings, with the written records constituting the main data-bank for the archive and with the audible and visual documents being stored in less accessible parts of the archive, but being made available to any investigator who wishes to hear a tape of which a written record is a partial transcription or to see the filmed record of which the written description is a characterization.

Though genre-oriented archives remain the most popular and prevalent, there are other alternative organizational schemes. Some archives order data according to geographical or political divisions, with examples of folklore of all kinds being filed under national, regional, provincial, state, county, village, town, and city designations. These 'locale-oriented' archives enable users to determine the full range of traditional processes and forms reported from particular places and provide bases for researchers to compare and contrast such things as the traditional tale repertoires or ways of celebrating specific holidays in different locales.

Another mode of archival organization is 'group-oriented', with ethnicity, religious preference, occupation, native language, or other sub-group affiliation constituting the identifying 'labels' for categorization. Folklore examples of all kinds reported from members of such collectivities are stored together, facilitating investigations of archive users interested in obtaining information about the selected group's traditions and in determining such things as frequency of occurrence of particular customs or musical selections, correlations between or among examples of expressive forms, and implications of the group's traditional behaviours and their manifestations for comprehending its members' shared values or biases.

A fourth and final means of organizing folklore archives makes the names of the individuals who are the sources of information about, and examples of, folklore the basis for data storage and retrieval. Such 'informant oriented' archives keep together data of all kinds obtained from individual research subjects, enabling users to determine the nature and extent of selected subjects' knowledge of traditional processes and forms, to conduct studies which explore correlations among examples of either the same or different expressive forms known to particular informants, or to compare and contrast the folklore repertoires of different persons.

All of these ways of ordering data in folklore archives as well as others that might be described or proposed are arbitrarily determined; and each has advantages as well as limitations. Their advantages can be exploited and their limitations overcome in one of two ways.

First, an archive might order data according to a combination of principles - primarily by locale and secondarily by form, for example, or principally by group, with subdivisions based on informant or form. Second, the archive can organize data on the basis of a single criterion, such as form or informant, but provide in addition cross-indices that would enable users to locate data recorded in particular locales or from members of specific social subgroups. The larger the number of criteria employed and the greater the amount of cross-indexing provided in an archive, the greater the likelihood that the needs of different researchers can be satisfied.

Just as there is no typical or best means of organizing a folklore archive, so is there no one set of instructions that can be prescribed for selecting, storing, caring for, and making available archival documents. What kinds of records an archive includes and how it is maintained and operated are decisions which must ultimately be made on the basis of practical considerations rather than in terms of some ideal model. Ideally, every folklore archive should accept all kinds of records - written, tape recorded, and photographic or filmed - together with selected samples of traditional material objects; practically, the kinds and numbers of records or objects an archive can accept will have to be determined by such matters as funding, space and personnel availability, donor contributions, and user interests. Ideally, every folklore archive should have climate-controlled quarters in which to store magnetic tapes and photographic records, technical equipment to play, view, and reproduce taped and filmed records, and a full-time technician to operate and maintain the sound and photographic equipment; practically, few archives have the resources to provide such facilities, equipment, or personnel. Ideally, every folklore archive should have a full-time archivist and several assistants to process and index incoming records and to help archive users locate data they need to carry out their investigations; practically, most archives are single-person staffed, with that sole individual having to assume the responsibilities of ordering and indexing the data-bank. Ideally, every folklore archive should have specific long-range goals and a systematic plan to insure comprehensive data gathering and a constantly growing data-base; practically, most archives are mere repositories for whatever kinds and quantities of data researchers are willing or able to contribute.

Anyone who wishes to establish, or who is currently operating, a folklore archive should, of course, attempt to obtain a maximum amount of space and budgetary support to create an archive with diverse kinds of record storage facilities, a large and well-trained staff, the most sophisticated technical equipment, ample work and user space, and optimal indexing and data-retrieval capabilities. Aspiring to such ends is the first step toward achieving them; Yet even an archive which is operated with minimal space and financial support can be potentially usable and useful as long as the extent and limitations of its holdings are known, the documents and data are stored and ordered in some systematic way, and the holdings are sufficiently indexed to enable both operator and user to know what information is available and how it can be located.

5. Conclusions

The objectives of this essay have been to explain what folklore is; to characterize the kinds of occasions on which one can observe, elicit, or document information about and examples of traditional communicative processes and forms; to describe and assess various kinds of documentation techniques; and to discuss the nature of folklore archives and modes of archival organization. This essay differs from other chapters of this book in that it does not focus solely or principally upon sound documentation, but instead illustrates that sound recording is but one of several record-making techniques available to the contemporary folklorist. This emphasis is not intended to minimize the importance of sound documentation, but rather to indicate that the multiple kinds of communicative processes and forms which folklorists study and the ways they can and do go about gathering data require them to select among documentation techniques, with the choice being determined by such factors as availability, appropriateness, research objectives, local custom and belief, and personal preferences.

As noted above, sound recordings have taken their place alongside written documents as the primary research records in contemporary folkloristics. The tape recorder will continue to be important, if not indispensable, to the folklorist, just as it is to those investigators who study other human phenomena; and the availability of greater numbers of sound recordings will no doubt enable folklorists to better understand, and to gain new insights into, the role that audible stimuli play in traditional expressive processes and forms. But records made on magnetic tape will also continue to supplement, and to be supplemented by, memory-trace, written, and photographic records, all of which are needed as folklorists pose and attempt to answer new questions and propose better solutions to age-old problems.

10. Linguistics (Michael Walsh)

1. Field of study

The field of study is restricted here to non-national or minority languages. National languages and their sub-varieties are excluded because the special problems their study involves will be treated in another chapter on dialect recordings. Pidgin and creole varieties are, however, included in this section.

In Australia, for example, Standard Australian English and its sub-varieties would not be covered by the concerns of this chapter but the over two hundred Australian (Aboriginal) languages and their English based pidgin/creole varieties would be included. Clearly for some other countries the situation is more complex. For instance, there might be a number of national languages or it may be difficult to decide whether some national language, in Africa for example, should be excluded. Admittedly restricting the field of study in this way is arbitrary and inevitably there will be overlaps. In addition to dialect other fields of study dealt with in this volume which overlap include ethnomusicology, folklore and oral history.

Often the languages treated here will have no writing system or otherwise a writing system that has only recently been introduced. There will be little or no literature for such languages so that sound recordings may form their most substantial permanent record and be of tremendous value to users of the archive and to the speakers themselves.

2. Role of a linguistic sound archive

In the past the primary function of linguistic recordings has usually been seen as research. This will always remain an important reason for recording language material; indeed much of the material has been and presumably will continue to be recorded by linguistic researchers in the course of their fieldwork. However, linguists are becoming increasingly aware of the value of their recordings as a means of preserving the linguistic heritage of the speakers of the languages being recorded.

In a recent survey of the Australian Aboriginal situation1 the need for preservation is apparent. Of 202 languages, 114 are listed as having ten or less speakers. Similarly many of New Guinea's estimated nine hundred languages (or more) are rapidly disappearing. 2 The reasons for the demise of many little known languages are complex. Without going into all the reasons why people may 'lose' their language there are increasing numbers of people who regard it as important that their languages be recorded for their descendants. In other cases descendants of speakers of now-extinct languages have a keen interest in the nature and, of course, the sound of the languages of their forebears.

For researchers a sound archive has many advantages. The archive provides a safe place for their own collections to be housed and gives them ready access to the recordings of other collectors. A collector would be unlikely to be able to match the standards of storage and preservation to which a sound archive should aspire. The archive can be used for library research. Linguistic researchers or students may use already existing recordings as the basis for a research project rather than collect recordings themselves. Such work can assist the archive by providing added documentation for its recordings. It will be a useful policy for the archive to require researchers to deposit a copy of their transcriptions with the archive; researchers will usually be willing to comply provided they have some control over the use of the material (see section 7).

Inevitably the content of the recordings collected by linguists will overlap with other fields of interest. Linguists collect text material which will be of interest to ethnologists, folklorists, natural historians and historians. Text collections3 often include life histories of prominent members of the linguistic group and stories of contact of that group with newcomers on the frontier. While linguists may be primarily interested in a text for its discourse techniques, particular grammatical constructions or unusual items of vocabulary, others will be interested only in the content. Close liaison between specialised sound archives or sections of a general sound archive should ensure that the multiple interests of a particular recording are widely known. Publication of catalogues of the archive's holdings and regular lists of recent acquisitions will ensure dissemination of such information. One example of acquisition listings of tape recordings can be found in the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies Newsletter published since 1974. Prior to this the Institute published catalogues with more detail on the contents of the recordings (AIAS Catalogue of Tape Archive Nos. 1-7; Canberra: AIAS;1967-l970). Other archives of course need different listings to suit their purposes.

  1. Sutton, P. 'Languages and Speakers in Australia' in AIAS mimeo; 1974
  2. Wurm. S (ed). Papuan Languages and the New Guinea Linguistics Scene (New Guinea Languages and Language Study, Vol 1); Canberra: Pacific Linguistics; 1975
  3. Linguists usually collect their material in two ways: in a relatively formal, structured format where the speaker responds to specific questions put by the investigator, and in a less directed, more informal way where the speaker is invited to tell a story or engage in free conversation with other speakers. Any material of the latter type is referred to as 'text'.

3. Nature of data to be collected

Much of the data collected by linguists is intended for linguistic description of otherwise little-known languages. The data can be collected from any good speakers of the language under study provided, of course, they can communicate adequately with the researcher. This latter point has implications for a linguistic sound archive since the eliciting medium might not be standard English (or whatever is the national language). It could be any native language known in common by the researcher and the person to be interviewed or it could be a mixture of a number of these. The problems for a linguistic sound archive can be considerable, especially where a transcription for the recording is not available. Frequently the data collected will contribute to 'whole' language descriptions comprising grammars, dictionaries and text collections. Material may also be collected on particular aspects of a language. Sometimes there is no choice in the matter because a language is so moribund that it is difficult to do more than sketch in the details of the sounds of the language and its vocabulary with a general account of word structures (i.e. phonology, lexicon, morphology). In such cases the collector should strive to gather material from as many surviving speakers as possible, including partial speakers who may provide valuable information in a group interview. Areas which require more detailed study such as sentence structure and meaning and the differing use of language in day to day situations (i.e. syntax, semantics, pragmatics) may be focused on according to the interests of the researcher.

Material should be gathered which places the particular language under study in a wider context. Even if material is only recorded from one language, information should be gathered about neighbouring languages. Attitudes to neighbouring languages can give a first approximation to the nature of the linguistic geography of the area and the relatedness of the languages in the area. A statement like 'We can't talk with those to the west; they speak too rough' may reflect the fact that the form of speech to the west is part of a different language or linguistic grouping. The same statement could yield information about metalinguistic terminology in that language: there may be other linguistic features which are described as 'rough'. Metalinguistic terminology (i.e. the special terms used to describe features of a language in that language) can be a useful tool in gaining linguistic insights. When such terms are known it will be easier to involve the speakers in the investigations (see also section 8).

Any language stands in an intimate relation to its culture and society. The life-style, interests and customs of a speech community will be reflected linguistically. There will usually be differences in speech according to the age of the speaker. In some speech communities female speech is markedly different from male speech. There may be special varieties of speech used only in the presence of certain relations4 or used only by people of a certain seniority or status within the group (the seniority being determined in some cases by the extent of their knowledge of ritual). Attention should also be directed towards gathering data on various linguistic styles. A special style may be used for delivering narrative speeches; in ritual settings; talking to strangers; in songs. 5 Material on how the language is used in practice may also be recorded on tape; although careful observation over a long period will be an essential complement to such recordings.

Too little attention has been focused on this area in the past and it is hoped researchers will direct their energies to this most important component of any language. It is one thing to gain basic communicative competence in a language but far more difficult to convey the 'same' message in a culturally appropriate way to the priest, the prime minister, the mechanic and the mother of one's recently estranged spouse!6

  1. For instance, see chapter 3, Dixon, R.M.W. The Languages of Australia; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1980
  2. The range of material that might be collected is indicated by Homes, D. Language in Culture and Society: a Reader in Linguistics and Anthropology; New York: Harper and Row; 1964
  3. See also Bauman, R. and Sherzer, J. (Eds.) Explorations in the Ethnography of Speaking; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1974

4. Collecting priorities

It is difficult to generalize on the criteria needed for setting collecting priorities simply because the linguistic situation varies so much from place to place. However, it is important today that whatever priorities are agreed upon should take into account the requirements of the Third World communities who provide the data as well as the interests represented by researchers. With proper consultation there is no ' reason why this should involve any conflict of interests. For example, a community's aspirations for a bilingual programme could easily be matched with a linguist's research interests which sometimes are not so immediately applied. 'People come along and take the language from us, they get degrees and jobs and we get nothing!' is a complaint too often heard and well worth avoiding. A linguistic revival project inspired by a community whose language is on the wane could closely complement a collector's research interests and at the same time offset the hostile reaction that might have resulted from the researcher embarking on an unsolicited linguistic salvage project.

In purely linguistic terms the absence of information, whether written or sound recorded, will suggest the languages which should be given special attention. Where linguistic sub-grouping has already gone ahead a language from a sub-group or a language family, none of whose members have been studied, should receive priority. On the other hand if linguistic sub-grouping for an area is not available or is still fairly crude, high priority should be given to a collecting programme which surveys a large number of languages, concentrating on those features which will assist in producing a picture of how all the languages are related to each other. When this is known it is far easier, especially in a language salvage operation, to make the difficult decision as to which language(s) will remain largely unrecorded.

There will usually be a limited number of experienced researchers and an apparently unlimited number of languages requiring further study. The ongoing business of finding out where the gaps are and deciding which ones to fill is covered in sections 6 and 7 but here it seems worth putting forward some remarks on how much recording should be done. People tend to fall into two categories: those who use a lot of tape and those who use little. The ones who use little tape tend to produce neater (almost edited) recordings with full transcriptions. Those who use a lot of tape are sometimes said to have 'low yield' recordings since the information they have been seeking forms but a very small portion of what they have actually collected. To give an example, linguists at an early stage in work on an unstudied language frequently carry out simple lexical elicitation: 'What is the word for "hand"? ‘Ngani'; 'How do you say "food"?' 'Batu'; and so on. The parsimonious tape user might produce a recording lasting ten minutes on which there are one hundred words while the conspicuous consumer gets the one hundred words in a recording lasting an hour and a half. Which is preferable? There is no simple answer but a long, low-yield recording can prove to be more valuable. The 'background' discussion, usually in the language of the speakers, can later in the study become the primary object of investigation while the other material now becomes the 'background'. This will only be possible when the investigator can throw light on areas such as the ethnography of speaking, attitudes to language, sociolinguistics as well as providing the researcher with a body of unsolicited text material.

Returning to the examples above, rather than a one-word answer batu (food) there could be a discussion among the language speakers about an appropriate answer. It might seem strange that there would be anything to discuss but in the Australian language, for instance, there would be at least two 'correct' answers: minya (flesh food, meat) and mayi (vegetable food). Again, in English, there are various possible answers: 'grub', 'tucker', 'chow', 'meat' (as in 'sweetmeat'), etc. Remarks on the answer like 'But, that's slang' might not be communicated directly to the investigator but be recorded on the taped interview as background information. For the speakers themselves or their descendants this longer version can be of more interest too since they can hear the language as it was spoken or, in a salvage situation, they will hear their (sometimes deceased) relatives talking in a form of English -which, incidentally, may be of interest to those involved in pidgin or creole studies.

Of course the two positions have been represented here in an extreme way and what is often done is some kind of compromise. On the debit side for doing 'full' recordings it should be noted that transcription is highly labour intensive, particularly so in a language not very familiar to the transcriber. Thus the fate of many 'full' recordings is that it may be a long time before they are transcribed and consequently they will be of less immediate value to the archive and its users.

5. Fieldwork

The most important prerequisite for fieldwork is adequate training. Many university departments of linguistics offer a field methods course. Collectors should be strongly encouraged to complete such a course. It will be useful, too, to have a fieldwork manual specifically designed for a particular region. 7 Although there are general works available8 a regional manual will address problems only to be found in that area and will be especially suitable for equipping those who have completed field methods courses or had fieldwork experience elsewhere. Fieldworkers should have a firm grounding in the major areas of linguistics with particular attention to phonetics, analytic techniques and historical/comparative linguistics. A first degree with a major in linguistics (or comparable training) will be essential while field experience will be a great advantage. Collectors with little or no field experience should be encouraged to work first on languages with a substantial number of speakers. Salvage linguistic projects with the last few speakers should be reserved for more experienced fieldworkers; not only because the work is much more difficult and can be very frustrating for the neophyte but also because an insensitive or inexperienced collector can antagonize the few remaining speakers and may spoil the situation altogether.

To ensure the most efficient use of staff, research co-ordination is essential. Depending on the size of the archive there could be a member of staff responsible for documenting past and ongoing research and regularly updating research priorities; otherwise the. researcher would have to investigate the intended project before going into the field (see also section 8).

When the data has been collected it can be of great assistance to have it arranged in standardised formats. Linguistic descriptions presented in a basically standard format can be found in Dixon and Blake's Handbook of Australian Languages. 9 The parallel treatments offer ease of comparison from language to language and assist in finding gaps and filling them. Vocabulary can also usefully be arranged in a standard format. The Wordlist for Australian Languages10 lists over two thousand lexical items arranged in semantic domains with a finding list. When this information has been compiled it would be a fairly simple matter to record a parallel aural version to be deposited in the tape archive. In this way a substantial portion of the lexical resources of a language would be available on audio tape arranged so that particular concepts could be pinpointed very quickly.

Any fieldwork project will be dependent to a large extent on the goodwill, co-operation and knowledge of local people in the field. It is to local expertise, particularly as regards native speaker knowledge, that we now turn our attention.

  1. For an Australian example see Sutton, P. and Walsh, M. Revised Linguistic Fieldwork Manual or Australia; Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies; 1979
  2. A good general guide is Samarin, W.J. Field Linguistics: A Guide to Linguistic Field Work; New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston; 1967. An example of a heuristic guide to Linguistic analysis can be found in Thomas, D. Notes and Queries on Language Analysis (Language Data. Asian-Pacific Series No.l0); Huntingdon Beach, California: Summer Institute of Linguistics; 1975
  3. Dixon, R.M. W. and Blake, B.J. (Eds.); Handbook of Australian Languages; Canberra: ANU Press and Amsterdam: Jo n Benjamins; 1979. Contributors to this series (a number of volumes are planned) are provided with guidelines on how to present their material.
  4. Sutton, P. and Walsh, M. (compilers); AIAS Wordlist or Australian Languages; Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies; 1979

6. Local expertise -the role of the native speaker

Linguistics is unique as a field of study in that the medium of discovery, the medium of exposition and the subject of inquiry are all the same: language. Much has been said elsewhere about the difficulty in gaining an intimate knowledge of a second language. Linguists, recognizing this, have sometimes tried to explain their methods and say what they are looking for. This is in contrast to traditional 'indirect' questioning which can be difficult to avoid. It would be a very sophisticated informant who made much sense out of an inquiry like 'Give me the second person dual subjunctive of "slice".' If language interviewees have been introduced to certain basic linguistic concepts it may be feasible to elicit some verb form and then say 'Now give me the reflexive of that', so that informants become less the passive respondents to carefully framed questions and to a greater extent active collaborators in the research.

Carrying the participation further it seems easier to teach a native speaker the principles and techniques of linguistics rather than for a linguist to attempt the near impossible task of gaining native speaker fluency of the language under study. The native speaker/linguist can then introspect on his own language and quickly gain insights into its structure which would take the outsider years to hit on. 11 A programme of this kind was begun in Australia in 1974 by the School of Australian Linguistics. 12 All students at the School have an Australian language as their first language. When graduates begin carrying out research it will be interesting to see to what extent their choice of subject material differs from their white counterparts in recording language. There is no reason why this sort of programme could not be duplicated in other Third World countries. In terms of recording priorities the presence of native speaker collectors would probably shift the emphasis to salvage work for the European collectors -depth studies being left for those who could go deepest! Such programmes are particularly relevant to a sound archive since it is probable that collectors who have native speaker fluency of the language being investigated will produce recordings of a quite different kind from researchers striving to overcome the difficulties of an intermediary language.

  1. See also Hale, K. 'On the use of informants in field-work' in Canadian Journal of Linguistics, Vol.10, No.2-3; 1965
  2. For further details contact School of Australian Linguistics, PO Batchelor, NT, 5794, Australia

7. Documentation, control and assessment of data

Once the material has been collected it is essential that the archive provides documentation which is as detailed as possible. There will need to be a number of guides to the overall collection as well as detailed information on each recording.

In a linguistic sound archive a language index will be essential. Inquirers should be able to gain quick access to all the material the archive holds on a particular language. It is important then that all alternative spellings of language names be cross-referenced. In some instances this is not difficult because the differences are rather minor.

For instance, in the case of some Australian (Aboriginal) languages we have variations such as Arabana and Arabanna but sets of alternative names for a single language such as these: Murrinhpatha, Garama and Mariwuda; Yir-Yoront and Koko-Mindjena. Such variations or alternatives clearly need cross-referencing. This can be effected by a card file or running list which is regularly updated. It is not uncommon for the linguistic literature of a region to spawn a plethora of terms of varying status. Some are clearly language or dialect names and their alternates but others are more difficult to categorise being hapax legomena from rather esoteric sources. 13 One is loath to discard the information (or misinformation) but the very large number of names can obscure the overall picture for the uninitiated. It is important for the documentation of a linguistic sound archive that there be some kind of guide through this maze. Careful work through all the sources will enable some identifications to be made and subgroupings to be devised. In some cases it will not be possible to assign particular terms (and the language material that goes with those terms) to any other known category: this will point the areas to be investigated in later fieldwork. The language index can assist fieldwork in other ways. It will be useful for the fieldworker to go into the field armed with all the alternative names that might be expected in the area, otherwise important connections may be missed. It would be a pity if a linguistic research project foundered because a potential informant said: 'No, I never heard of "English"; I only speak "American"'!

To assist the user of the archive there should also be an area catalogue. There are a variety of ways in which such a catalogue could be organized: in terms of culture areas; administrative/government areas; ecological areas; or simply in terms of major named localities.

Information in the archive should also be catalogued according to the people involved in the recording: the depositor; the collector/researcher (usually the same as the depositor); and the informants or collaborators who provided the information. The last mentioned file will assist other field researchers in contacting subjects.

Of major importance, too, is the content of the recording. In some other subject areas, for instance oral history, it would probably be usual rather than the exception for there to be a full transcription of a recording. This is less likely to be so in a linguistic sound archive since the work involved in transcribing unfamiliar language material of quite short duration is quite considerable. It would be unrealistic to expect all material coming into the archive even to be partially transcribed and it would be a disastrous policy decision to refuse to accept such material. The exigencies of the field situation are such that a researcher may decide to collect material simply because it is available, important and unlikely ever to be recorded if this opportunity is not taken and yet he may have no particular research interest in that material himself.

One must expect to receive documentation from outside collectors of widely varying depth. At worst there might be no information at all other than the knowledge that it is appropriate for the recording to be lodged in the archive. Approaching the ideal would be a full transcription with timings. An example of a timed segment of a recording might be:

Archive Tape    
607 Side B 02:30-10:50 Elicitation of colour terms.
For Transcription see MS
No. 1014 pp.45-5l

As much as possible collectors should be encouraged to provide at least a general statement of the content of the recordings. Rough timings with a detailed list of contents are clearly more desirable. There should be a member of the staff engaged in soliciting further information from depositors of materials as well as processing the incoming information and doing 'detective' work on material for which too little information is already available. In addition each recording could be cross-referenced to available literature, e.g. transcriptions held by the archive, by other agencies or in private collections.

To ensure that potential depositors feel confident in lodging their material with the archive there should be an adequate system of control. A range of choices governing the access to and use of the recordings should be available and be formalised in a signed contract of deposit. This will protect the interests of the depositors as well as the archive. In such contracts the interests of the linguistics groups who originally provided the material must be respected. In particular material of a secret or sacred nature should be treated with due discretion. In the event of material for which there is no contract of deposit and any doubt about the status of the material as regards its secret/sacred nature, it would be better to err on the side of caution. In a more general context the staff of the archive should have at least some general familiarity with local copyright regulations or otherwise take expert advice.

A regular assessment of the data held will improve the archive in deciding priorities for research and in keeping the public informed. Regular (e.g. annual) research questionnaires to collectors which could then be collated in a master list for distribution back to those collectors is one method which will help to find the gaps. The archive can then encourage or sponsor depending on finance -specific research projects to fill the gaps. On a regular basis archive staff should solicit data from private collections, particularly where they existed before the creation of the archive.

  1. For an Australian example of this problem see Button, P. 'Australian language names' in Wurm, B. (Ed.) Australian Linguistic Studies; Canberra: Pacific Linguistics; 1979.

8. Staffing and organization

The structure and management of an archive will be dependent on the scope of the recording programme, in financial backing and on the availability of suitable staff. At the very least an archive will need a research section and a technical section. Within the archive four major functions can be distinguished: research coordination; cataloguing/auditioning; clerical and typing work; technical duties. It would be an advantage to have a separate staff member for each function although it might be possible to reduce staff by sharing some of the functions.

In the archive there should be a linguistic research coordinator whose main responsibility would be maintaining an overview of research. In addition he or she could advise researchers in the field, answering linguistic enquiries from researchers or the public, and perhaps train field researchers. It would be desirable for the research coordinator to be carrying out at least some field recording to maintain familiarity with the special problems to be found in the field.

A cataloguer/auditioner would devise the format for documentation of the tape archive in consultation with the research coordinator. Ideally this staff member would audition tape recordings, cross-referencing them to full or partial transcriptions held in the archive or compiling lists of contents with timings. To give an example of what an auditioner might achieve, the relevant staff member at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies processes from 300 to 400 archive tapes (which would amount to around the same number of recorded hours) per year. This involves producing a fairly detailed list of contents with timings for each tape. More detailed auditioning will reduce the number of tapes processed in a year while a greater yield will obviously be possible with less documentation. At the time of writing the rate of tape auditioning at AIAS does not even keep up with the incoming tapes to be archived. It is a matter of policy to maintain a certain standard of documentation even though this means the backlog will keep increasing unless more auditioners can be employed. Each archive will need to arrive at its own policy on such matters.

Another essential staff member would be a technician who would see to the selection and maintenance of recording equipment, ensure optimal storage for the archive collection and make preservation or working copies of the recordings.

Finally a clerk/typist would maintain files, type up correspondence and documentation and perhaps handle non-linguistic and non-technical enquiries from the public.

Depending on the size of the archive additional staffing might be warranted. An administrative officer could handle many tasks which would otherwise have to be carried out by the research coordinator and technician, thus releasing them for their more specialized duties. Ideally there should be one or more research fellows/ collectors on staff to carry out research projects designed specifically to meet the needs of the archive, whether filling gaps or expanding areas already entered on.

At least some of these staff would require specialized qualifications. The research coordinator should at least have a first degree with a specialization in linguistics but preferably a higher degree and certainly should be experienced in the field. The cataloguer/ auditioner should have similar qualifications but could be less experienced than the research coordinator. The technician would need to have appropriate technical qualifications to be able to maintain and select the equipment used by the archive and have up-to-date knowledge on recording, copying, storage and preservation. The clerk/typist would require experience and appropriate qualifications in clerical duties and typing. Provided he worked closely with the research coordinator there would be no need for the administrative officer to have special expertise beyond general administrative experience.

Overall policy making is particularly important in an archive's management. Policy can be decided on internally but it may be appropriate to have a board or committee for this purpose which includes non-staff, regional experts. Representation from the linguistic groups being studied in such a policy structure is highly desirable, not only so that the subjects of study have some control over the research being carried out on them, but also so that harmonious relations can be maintained. If relations between researchers and their subjects should deteriorate it would seriously affect the ongoing role of the archive. Such a board would oversee the archive's structure and management, policies on collecting programmes, the documentation, control and assessment of data and perhaps investigate methods of gaining additional funding from outside bodies.

9. Equipment and technical facilities

Linguistic sound recording has a few special requirements which will be raised here. General requirements are covered in the chapter in this volume on technical aspects of sound archive work. Technical excellence in sound recording may have to be sacrificed in field situations with unsophisticated linguistic informants. A high quality open reel recorder with a separate microphone of professional standard on a tripod may intimidate the informant to the extent that the recording is of high technical quality but the content is relatively poor. In such a situation a small cassette recorder with an internal microphone would be preferable. The archive should provide equipment of both sorts. The collector would be advised to take equipment of both kinds to the field using the bulkier or more compact recorder according to the situation. This will give the added insurance of still having one recorder to continue the work should one of them become faulty in a remote area.

The sound archive might also provide special facilities for ethnoscientific studies or detailed lexical investigation. By providing a nature library, collectors could be encouraged to make more accurate identifications of floral and faunal species and other features of the environment. Some researchers collect and preserve specimens from the field for accurate identification by experts later. The archive could provide preserving/ collecting equipment for this. The advantages to the archive are to be found in the documentation; a transcription which includes twenty different vocabulary items from a little-known language all glossed as 'insect species' leaves a lot to be desired!

10. Special running costs

As for ethnology recordings, added expenditure must be anticipated for a linguistic sound archive because of the remoteness of the field locations. In budgeting attention should be paid to travel expenses, the maintenance and capital cost of four-wheel drive vehicles, caravans, camping equipment and so on. Even if the collectors are not on the staff, the archive may need to supply and service them with tape and tape recorders. This may result in air freight and insurance costs as well as impinging on the technician's other duties.

The staff of the archive should keep abreast of current developments in their field of expertise. Budgeting, therefore, should allow for their participation in appropriate national and international conferences.

11. Natural History (Ronald Kettle)

1. Introduction

The first recordings of animal sounds date from the end of the 19th century. The earliest known example is Ludwig Koch's recording of a captive bird, a shama, made on wax cylinder in Germany in 1889. The first wild bird sound recordings were probably those of a song thrush and a nightingale made by Cherry Kearton, also on wax cylinder, in England in 1900. The pioneers,  such as Ludwig Koch in Germany, Belgium and Britain,  Carl Weismann in Denmark, and A.R. Brand, Paul Kellogg and A.A. Allen in the United States, made many bird and other animal recordings by direct cutting of discs. The cumbersome equipment required was a great hindrance and it was the development of portable magnetic tape recorders in the 1950s which made possible the collection of wildlife sound recordings all over the world on a larger scale and on a systematic basis. This was also greatly facilitated by other technical developments like the invention of the parabolic reflector and the gun microphone.

As long ago as the early 1930s Ludwig Koch cherished the idea of founding an institute to preserve sound recordings of all kinds and he tried successively, but failed, to get one set up in Germany, Belgium and Britain. At about the same time in the United States Peter Paul Kellogg and his associates began to build up, from their own recording activities, a collection of bird and some other animal sound recordings at Cornell University which was to become the Library of Natural Sounds at the Laboratory of Ornithology there. This was the first, and is still the largest, wildlife sound archive in the world. By 1980 it held about 40,000 tape recordings of some 4,000 species - mainly birds - from all over the world. Two other important collections were established in North America around 1950: the Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics at Ohio University, specialising in insect and bird sounds of North America, primarily for internal research; the Gunn Library of Wildlife and Environmental Sounds in Toronto, which is a commercial organisation, supplying many recordings for broadcasting and films - but also for research - and comprises animal sounds from North America and some areas of South America and Africa.

It was not until the 1960s that the movement spread to other parts of the world. It saw the formation of sound libraries in Denmark (at the Bioacoustics Laboratory of the Natural History Museum, Aarhus), Hungary (Animal Sound Archives of the Academy of Sciences in Budapest), Britain (British Library of Wildlife Sounds at the British Institute of Recorded Sound in London), USSR (Phonotek of Animal Sounds at the Institute of Biophysics, Pushchino, the Moscow University Library of Animal Voice, as well as a specialised collection at Leningrad University), Australia (at the CSIRO Division of Wildlife Research, originally in Canberra but now in Western Australia), New Zealand (Wildlife Service Sound Library, Wellington), South Africa (Fitzpatrick Bird Communication Library formerly in Natal but now at the Transvaal Museum, Pretoria) and in Brazil (Laboratorio de Bioacoustica at the University of Campinas).

These ‘libraries' developed for different reasons, and few had as their primary objective the establishment of a national archive of wildlife sound. Some of them sprang from the accumulation of an individual's recordings and some from the need for a research resource, but all do provide a centralised collection which can be drawn upon by any person or organisation with a serious use for such recordings. All of them are associated with zoological institutions of one kind or another except the British Library of Wildlife Sounds (BLOWS).

Some broadcasting organisations have in their sound archives sizeable collections of natural history recordings, notably those in Sweden, Finland, Japan, Czechoslovakia, Britain and South Africa. Smaller, specialised collections have been built up in some zoological institutions, such as the amphibian sound recordings in the Natural History Museum in Geneva and the grasshopper and cricket recordings in the Natural History Museum in London. Some private collections have almost the status of a sound library, e.g. those of Claude Chappuis and Jean-Claude Roche in France, Claus König in Germany, Ken Scriven in Malaysia, Leslie McPherson in New Zealand, John Kirby in Britain and Tsuruhiko Kabaya in Japan.

Starting slowly in the early 1900s, but at an accelerating rate in the 1960s and 1970s, a large number of wildlife sounds on commercial gramophone records and cassettes have been published all over the world (see the discographies by Boswall and others1) and over a thousand may now be listed. A collection of these is therefore an important resource for the would-be listener to the sounds of particular species which may not be available amongst the unpublished tape recordings in an archive. Partly as a result of the availability of these commercially published discs and cassettes, but even more as a result of radio and television programmes, an increasing interest in the sounds and language of animals is being taken by the general public. At the same time zoologists have been giving more attention to the study of bioacoustics and the expansion of this research into animal sounds has been stimulated by the greatly increased possibilities which now exist  of acquiring recordings.

Thus there is a growing demand for wildlife sound recordings at the popular, educational and scientific levels. A centralised archive of such recordings has an important role to play in satisfying this demand.  It may be drawn upon for general interest, for the publication of discs or cassettes, for film and broadcasting use, for various educational applications and for the provision of sound •specimens' for scientific research.

  1. Boswall, J. 'A bibliography of wildlife discographies' in Recorded Sound No.54; 1974
    Boswall, J. 'A supplementary bibliography of wildlife discographies' in Recorded Sound No. 74-75; 1979

2. General principles

A wildlife sound archive may be defined as a centralised collection of animal sound recordings properly preserved and documented for their cultural and scientific value. Such an archive may house recordings of all classes of animals from all parts of the world, as does BLOWS. Alternatively it may have a much more limited s~0pe and collect recordings only from the local area or only of one class of animals. The Australian CSIRO collection, for example, is virtually restricted to birds of the Australasian zoogeographical region.

The primary concern of this chapter will be the setting up of archives devoted to collecting wildlife sound recordings from their own local geographical areas. The resources required to develop an archive of worldwide scope are probably such that their establishment is justified in only a few centres in the world. It may be that the ideal course is the setting up of many national collections of recordings of the fauna of individual countries which can both supply and draw upon comprehensive archives of world-wide scope in a few international centres.

Whatever the scope, any wildlife sound.archive should aim to include the whole vocabulary of all the species occurring within the geographical and faunistic limitations set. In addition the more examples of, for instance, each 'song' the better, especially from a wide range of localities, dates and timings. Research is often concerned with the study of these variations and the analysis of as many different examples as possible.

3. Priorities

Any policy for building up a wildlife sound archive should give priority to preserving the following kinds of material:

the sounds of endangered or vanishing species and those from disappearing habitats;

the original material of pioneers in wildlife sound recording and large important collections of other recordists;

recordings made for major research projects;

published recordings on disc or tape while they are available.

4. Sources of recordings

Clearly, an essential starting point for setting up an archive is the identification of existing sources of recordings. For wildlife sounds, the following are likely to be the most fruitful.

The collections of major pioneer wildlife sound recordists should be eagerly sought. Such people as Ludwig Koch in Britain, Myles North in East Africa and Paul Schwartz in South America fall into this category. All their recordings have now been archived. The acquisition of such collections may involve the archive in a great deal  of sorting, copying and documentation.

Individual zoologists who make recordings as part of their research may contribute valuably to archive collections. Of similar importance are zoology departments of universities and other research institutions which have collected recordings for scientific projects. The archiving of such recordings will enable future workers to have access to material on which the research was based and, in many cases, from which published sonograrns were prepared. A good example is the collection of recordings at Cambridge made for Professor W.B. Thorpe's classic study of song learning in birds, with special reference to the chaffinch, of which copies are preserved in BLOWS.

Natural history museums and learned societies may also be rich sources. Thus, in the former category, comes the Orthoptera (i.e. grasshoppers, crickets, etc.) recordings collected by Dr David Ragge and Jim Reynolds at the British Museum (Natural History) in London, copies of which are now at BLOWS. Expeditions to zoologically rich but unexplored areas often obtain valuable recordings. Thus Julian Dring made many unique recordings of frogs in Sarawak during an expedition run by the Royal Geographical Society and contributed copies of them to BLOWS. Similarly, there may be private expeditions organised by individuals or groups primarily for the purpose of recording wildlife sounds. Some fine batches of bird sound recordings, for example, have been contributed to BLOWS by Terry White from expeditions to the Gambia, Trinidad, Tobago, Australia and Brunei.

If, on any type of expedition, there is a competent wildlife sound recordist with proper equipment present, so that good recordings seem likely to be obtained of animal sounds particularly required by the archive, support may be given to the work at least to the extent of supplying tape and equipment. Such support should be subject to a signed agreement that all the recordings will be deposited in the archive within a stipulated time and with proper documentation.

Recording expeditions organised by the archive itself can be a most profitable source when a new collection is being set up in a country without a tradition of animal sound recording. Obviously areas with a particularly interesting or rich fauna or, more importantly, disappearing habitats with threatened species will be chosen for such fieldwork. It is always wise to consult experts when organising such expeditions, such as Dr James Gulledge, Director of the Cornell Library of Natural Sounds, who has led collecting expeditions to Arizona and the Galapagos Islands to obtain recordings for the Library. Suitable high quality equipment will be needed (see 5 below) and at least one member of the party must be a competent wildlife recordist. There must also be an experienced naturalist capable of identifying all the species recorded and it is important to keep the fullest possible documentation (see also 5 below).

Broadcasting organisations may have extensive collections of natural history sound recordings in their archives. Since the primary purpose of these collections is to serve the needs of broadcasting they are not readily available for use by outside people. The broadcasting authority may, however, be willing to supply a copy of the recordings to a national archive -provided copyright is safeguarded -thus enabling them to be more widely used without involving the authority in any further work. The deposit of duplicates of the BBC's natural history recordings in BLOWS is an outstanding example of this kind of co-operation.

Individual recordists should by no means be ignored as acquisition sources for archives, especially since an increasing number of people are taking up wildlife sound recording as a hobby. The major wildlife sound recordists in Britain, for instance such people as John Kirby, Lawrence Shove, Ray Goodwin, Victor Lewis, Patrick Sellar, Richard Margoschis and other leading British bird and animal recordists, have extensive collections of first-class material which has been used in published records, films and broadcasting. Many others who record wildlife sounds as a hobby also make excellent recordings. In Britain such enthusiasts are easy to identify because most are members of the Wildlife Sound Recording Society. Elsewhere they may be harder to discover. Some will be members of natural history societies. Others, who are primarily interested in sound recording for its own sake, may belong to tape recording societies through which they can be discovered. The latter often make recordings of good quality, but may be weak on identification and documentation, which can detract from the value of their tapes.

5. Equipment and field recording

There are many problems to overcome in making good wildlife sound recordings in the field and some special equipment and techniques are necessary.

Most animals are difficult to approach closely enough to record their utterances with an ordinary hand-held microphone. This can be overcome by carefully placing the microphone, which is connected to the recorder by a long lead, near the spot where the animal is expected to utter its sound, such as by the song-post of a bird. Another method is to use a parabolic reflector, which concentrates the sound waves and reflects them onto the microphone, thus effectively amplifying the sound.

Extraneous noise is usually an inherent problem when trying to record any particular sound in an outdoor environment. The amount of background sound may be considerably reduced by the use of the highly directional parabolic reflector, which excludes most of the sound emanating from other than the direction of aim of the parabola. Another directional device is the gun microphone, which similarly excludes sounds other than those coming from a narrow frontal arc. An ordinary directional microphone close to the subject is ideal where possible. The unwanted noise caused by wind is a frequent problem, but there are some fairly effective windshields that can be fitted to the microphone to reduce this.

Field recorders need to be high quality, light-weight, reel-to-reel portables and the choice is limited to the very few machines in the Nagra and Uher categories. Monitoring by headphone is essential and the recorder, preferably, should provide this facility directly offtape. Since wildlife sounds cover a very wide range of frequencies, the equipment's frequency response must be the widest possible (ideally 20 to 20,000 Hz.). Finally, as many animal sounds are of a low level relative to the ambient noise, it is often necessary to use a high gain setting in order to record them loud enough. For this reason it is important the recorder should have as high a signal-to-noise ratio as possible.

For outdoor use microphones need to be robust, have high sensitivity for comparatively low level sounds and a good frequency response. Only dynamic (or moving coil) and capacitor (or condenser) microphones are suitable for fieldwork.

There are particular problems and equipment requirements in some types of wildlife recording, such as that of the ultrasonics of bats and underwater creatures, for which specialist advice should be taken.

As a minimum for fieldwork, the archive will need to have two recorders (preferably Nagras), one directional and one omnidirectional microphone, a gun microphone, a 20 or 24-inch parabolic reflector and monitoring headphones. For archive work (copying, editing and 'processing' recordings), three studio recorders with ancillary equipment and playback machines for discs and cassettes are minimum requirements.

For field recording, long-play tape is probably the best type to use with most portable recorders, although the use of standard-play has the advantage of also being suitable for storage if the original material is being archived.

The special problems, and the requirements for overcoming them, are a considerable hindrance to the acquisition of good quality wildlife recordings. For most scientific purposes, and indeed for most other uses, it is essential that recordings are of high quality, free from distortion and obtrusive extraneous sounds. The very highest technical standards must be aimed at. For more detailed information the reader is referred to the technical chapter and bibliography in this book.

6. Documentation

Wildlife sound recordings without adequate documentation are of little value. The fuller the documentation the better. The minimum data required are: name of recordist; recording speed and duration; locality; date; species name; type of sound; number of animals and sex if known. The following further details are needed if the recordings are to have real scientific value: recording equipment; time of day; weather (especially temperature for insects and amphibians); habitat; associated behaviour and circumstances. This information should be noted down in some form in the field at the time the recording is made. Dictating notes onto the tape immediately after the recording is a particularly good method, or the details can be entered in a field notebook.

Eventually there must be a completed standard data sheet to accompany each tape recording in the archive (a specimen of the form used by BLOWS is shown on page 44.). It is best if these are completed by the recordist. Since writing down all the information is a considerable task, a form on which the recordist can simply tick-off the appropriate pre-printed details has some advantages. Dr James Gulledge has devised such a form for recordings contributed to the Cornell Library of Natural Sounds (see figure 1). This lends itself to quick completion in the field and has the further advantage that it can be used directly for computer input.

Figure 1

The standardisation of species nomenclature is a difficult question, but it is important to be consistent. The scientific name must, of course, be the definitive one, since vernacular names vary widely. One authority should be followed rigidly for each class of animal. A local archive might do best by following the recognised standard work (book or check-list) for the various fauna of its area. Archives which are international in outlook should use a world species list widely recognised as the best authority and used by other such wildlife sound libraries e.g. Morony, Bock and Farrand Reference Lists of Birds of the World; American Museum of Natural History: New York; 1975.

7. Cataloguing

The data sheets, referred to in section 6, filed in systematic order will effectively provide a catalogue of the tape recordings in the archive. For computer storage the data must be susceptible to direct translation for computer input. In practice it is easy to discover from the file of data sheets what tape recordings are held for any species or group of animals and these can be readily located from the reel references on the sheets. However, it is useful for the potential user also to have a printed catalogue. A simple one giving basic details is comparatively easily prepared by a small archive, as has been done, for instance, by the New Zealand Wildlife Service library and the two main Russian Phonoteks (see section I above). The entries in such a catalogue might show: species name, type of sound, place, date, recordist, quality, duration, reference and reel numbers. A typical entry in such a catalogue might be:

ROBIN Erithacus rubecula

  1. Song. Yorkshire. 20 October 1980. C. Smith.
    B. 3'40". 3054. S2/4.
  2. Calls of pair alarming near nest. Surrey.
    5 May 1960. B. Jones. A. 2'05". 2531. Cl/5

The entries would be listed in systematic order, separately for each class of animal. The need for constant up-dating is an obvious problem.

For commercial records and cassettes, the cards completed should include a list of the species to be found on each published item. In addition a species card index file should be compiled showing, for each species, what records or cassettes its sounds occur on. If these cards also show that there is a related field recording in the archive and that it occurs in a separate special collection (e.g. a broadcasting collection), then all information about recordings of the species concerned is usefully available in the one place.

Without computerisation it is difficult for an archive of any size to locate recordings with special features, such as sub-song or mimicry, or those which come from particular habitats or areas. For further information on computerisation and on cataloguing generally the reader is referred to the separate chapter on this subject.

8. Organisation

In an archive, recordings for each species are best held on separate reels, each successive recording (or series of recordings) received being spliced onto the relevant reel. At the same time the reel and 'cut' (i.e. individual recording) number will be entered on the data sheet. The reels should be housed in boxes labelled on the 'spine' with the species name and stored in alphabetic or some other systematic order. Obviously reels for the different classes of animals should be kept separate and BLOWS uses a different colour for labelling each class of animal. A sheet or card giving brief details of each 'cut' should be kept in the box (or they could be written on the box). An announcement dictated onto the tape, giving data sheet number, species name and recordist, should precede each 'cut'. This not only identifies each recording but also facilitates its location if leader tape is not used between recordings.

Normally the archive recordings will be first generation copies of selected portions of original field tapes (which usually contain much that is not worth preserving and, in any case, are often long-play). An additional copy of each batch of recordings received (or the selection made from them) should be made and stored separately. This will serve as a duplicate copy for security purposes.

Ideally recordings will be submitted to the archive as first generation copies on standard play tape at a speed of 19 cm/sec or 38 cm/sec with announcements already dictated onto the tape and with data sheets completed. It is then simply a matter ·of adding those of each separate species to the appropriate reels and making a straight security copy of the whole batch as a 'collection'. In practice, however, recordings are received in many different forms requiring different kinds of processing. The most basic form might be a collection of unedited original recordings with field notes from a recordist who has died. Since some of the material will - by the very nature of wildlife sound recording in the field - be unsuitable for archive use, a selection will have to be copied off onto species reels, with announcements added at the beginning of each 'cut' and data sheets completed from the field notes. Contributions may also be received in a variety of other forms. They may each require different treatment to achieve copies of the required 'cuts' on species reels and a duplicate copy as a collection.

9. Staffing

Clearly an archive's staff needs are dependent on many factors, particularly the size and scope of the collection. A suitable complement would be:

(a) Curator:

Responsible for the efficient running of the natural history sound library, the curator should have a zoology degree and experience in bioacoustic research as well as in recording wildlife sounds.

(b) Field Recordist:

Responsible to the curator for carrying out a programme of collecting wildlife sound recordings for the archive, the field worker should be an experienced and competent wildlife sound recordist with good knowledge of the fauna of the areas to be covered. He should also be a reliable identifier of species in the field and have a thorough knowledge of their sound vocabularies.

(c) Technical Assistant:

An assistant would be needed, responsible to the curator, for the processing of acquired recordings and their incorporation in the archive as well as for the preparation of copy recordings for users. He should be a well qualified audio technician with an interest in wildlife sounds.

(d) General Assistant:

Responsible to the curator for documentation, cataloguing, filing, indexing, typing and other routine work, a general assistant should have a good general education, a systematic mind, an interest in wildlife and a knowledge of classification of species.

10. Use

The main purpose of a natural history sound archive is to make wildlife recordings available for study and use. As well as offering listening facilities on the premises, the service of supplying copies of the tape recordings to bona fide person~ for non-commercial use should be offered. A form of application and agreement protecting copyright needs to be drawn up for all users to complete. Figure 2 shows the form used by BLOWS. All contributors should sign an agreement stipulating the terms under which their recordings are held by the archive and may be copied for users. A typical arrangement is that material can be supplied for non-commercial use, but all applications for commercial purposes (e.g. films and broadcasting) have to be referred to the recordist or copyright holder. A specimen of the contributor's agreement form used by BLOWS is shown in figure 3.

Given the wide range of potential uses that a wildlife sound archive is open to, which are described in section 1, the need to control users and to safeguard the interests of depositors is self-evident.

Figure 2

Figure 3

12. Oral History (David Lance)

1. Introduction

From the earliest days of sound recording, historical content and significance have been major criteria for the selection and preservation of audio documents by archivists. Speeches and lectures, reports and descriptions of important events, personal narrations and reminiscences, interviews and discussions have long been collected as historically valuable records by a large number and variety of archives. Until quite recently, however, the relationship between sound recording and historical documentation was haphazard. Most collected material had been recorded - often by broadcasting organisations - for immediate practical ends. Any subsequent preservation by archivists aware of its permanent historical value was generally incidental to the reasons for which the recordings were originally made. In the field of historical sound documentation as with many other classes of records - archival collections, therefore, traditionally consisted of recordings that were created without objective regard to historical considerations and which survived, very often, only by accident and good fortune.

During the past thirty years, however, oral history has developed as a practice in which historical research and archival collecting have combined to eliminate to some extent the previously arbitrary manner by which the past was documented in sound. This development was made possible by the availability of relatively cheap portable tape recorders from the 1950s onwards. These provided the tool by which historians could conveniently produce their own research sources, and archives their own collections, by selecting specific people, subjects or events for documentation by recording. It is the systematic creation of historical sound recordings to form oral history archives that this chapter is concerned with.

What is oral history? It may be defined as a method for obtaining historical reminiscences by interviewing people who were participants in or witnesses of the matters they describe and recording their recollections verbatim on magnetic tape. This purely practical definition should not obscure the fact that oral history, which has been considerably developed and refined over the years, can be a sophisticated research tool. It is, nonetheless, essentially a term which has come to describe a method of collecting historical information and it produces a particular form of data that has become yet one more class of document available to the archivist.

It is widely held that the practice of oral history began in the USA where, in 1948 at Columbia University, Professor Allan Nevins was instrumental in setting up a programme 'to obtain from the lips of living Americans who have led significant lives, a fuller record of their participation ... in political, economic and cultural life'1. Although a professional historian, Nevins' interest was primarily archival in the sense that, by recording, he wanted to capture and preserve information which otherwise would be irrevocably lost. In this he was also preoccupied with further documenting the lives of regional, national and international leaders, an interest that was to dominate the development and use of oral history for the next twenty years. Only in the past decade has the balance been shifted, mainly by social historians interested in collecting information about the history of urban and rural working class groups and communities. As a result, oral history now also 'moves among the generality of the population, noting and recording prejudices and reactions ... to garner human experience in all its richness'2

In addition to these trends, there has been "an explosion of interest in this field of sound documentation which is illustrated by the extraordinarily wide range of studies in which oral history methods have been used. For political and economic history, social and cultural life, business and technology, science and the arts and in the affairs of societies and individuals at many levels and types of interest, oral history recording has been initiated. For practitioners in all fields of oral history the main objective is to create - in Nevins' words - 'a fuller record'. To some this has meant supplementing existing records; for others it has involved recording the hitherto unrecorded. In countries or within groups that do not have a tradition of formal record keeping or written history, oral history offers unique opportunities to preserve for the future a more complete record of the past.

It is not the purpose of this chapter to give detailed information or advice about the methodology of oral history. There is a large existing body of literature dealing with research techniques, interviewing methods, recording practice, transcribing procedures and giving analyses and assessments of oral evidence. Some of the major publications dealing with these aspects are listed in the bibliography to this chapter.

  1. Nevins, A. The Gateway to History; New York: D. Appleton Century; 1938
  2. Marshal, J. 'The sense of place, past society and the oral historian' in Oral History, Vol.3, No.1; 1975

2. General principles

The general objective of any archive recording programme should be to use oral history methods as a means both of documenting and of preserving the past. The process and product of such work ought to open up new fields of research. It should also seek to meet the broader educational interests of present and future generations, by showing them the conditions of life and the variety of experiences of their parents and grand-parents and by reflecting and illustrating characteristics or changes which make a particular society or culture distinctive.

In realising these ends, the absence of documentary and printed records will usually indicate the primary subjects on which oral history recording would most usefully be focussed. Filling wide or absolute gaps in the historical record are fundamental objectives for a creative recording programme and, when they also represent subjects that are only alive in the memories of the very elderly, they are gaps which need to be filled first. However, recording can also be based - even in generally well documented fields - on particular features which are not covered by the existing records. It may be the case that the paper records which have been preserved have, for example, an administrative or hierarchical focus, and that much more information can be added to the historical mosaic of some subjects by oral history recording.

Since oral history has an important role in reflecting the past as well as uncovering it, recordings may also be carried out to preserve a sense of place, time, personality or event. Such recordings may produce little original information but they can create an original sound document, giving colour and atmosphere and a feeling for history that, in an important way, transcends the collection of data to give a unique dimension to oral history records.

The application of these principles is considered and illustrated in the following sections.

3. Planning an archive recording programme

Most oral history archives have been set up with either a regional or a special subject emphasis (although there are notable exceptions, such as the U.S. Presidential Libraries, where the collections obviously focus on specific individuals). Thus a recording programme may be about the history of a particular city, province or country or, alternatively, it may be concerned with social history, military history, political history and so on (or possibly some aspect or combination of them). Stated in its broadest terms, the general purpose of most programmes, therefore, is predetermined by this regional or subject setting.

On its own, however, the particular setting which a recording programme is required to reflect goes only a little way towards determining what the actual content of it will be. This has to be worked out and specified. For example, a regional archive may implement a general recording programme dealing with many aspects of the locality: its leading citizens, its traditions and customs, its government and politics, its industry and agriculture, its art and culture. The subject orientated archive will tend to work within narrower limits but it will usually have - in common with the regional archive the task of structuring its special field of interest into appropriate component parts. For example, a military history archive might organise a programme to deal with the history of land, sea and air forces; of arms industries and wartime agriculture; of political and military leadership; of social and economic conditions in wartime. In other words, before a new programme can be set up its historical objectives have first to be decided.

The quality of oral history collecting may depend to a considerable extent on the effort and expertise that is put into the planning of the programme. Objectives should be formulated on the basis of developed knowledge and the most recent scholarship that is available, so that the programme the archive devises will make the most relevant and valuable contribution to its field of study. As the subject range of many archives is extremely broad they may have to plan programmes consisting of a wide variety of individual recording projects. This, in turn, requires a comparably wide range of available subject expertise at the planning stage. If this is not to be found entirely within the collecting institution, then the archive would be well advised to make use of outside subject specialists in identifying and developing the potential objectives of its programme.

These objectives will need to be specified in sufficient detail to provide a precise content and a working structure for the recording programme. Towards this end a formal plan can usefully be formulated. Its purposes would be to define the subject scope of the programme; to enable the work to be organised to agreed priorities; to provide a means of monitoring the overall development of the programme and the results that are being achieved.

4. Structuring the programme

The identification of appropriate topics goes some way towards providing the archive with the means of organising a coherent recording programme. To be most helpful, a content plan for the programme might be drawn up and projected so as to provide an overall and comprehensive scheme that will enable the archive to plan its work over several years. As an example, such a plan is set out below which was designed to meet the needs of a national archive in the field of economic history.

Studies of the main traditional industries: rubber, tin, opium, palm oil and timber. These projects could document more fully the organisation, structure, practices, conditions and changes within each industry and the nature and scale of their association with particular communities.

Projects should also be organised to record traditional methods and conditions in agriculture, fishing and the local craft industries.

The establishment and development of the various shipping interests and activities must be documented. Separate projects should cover the local infrastructures set up by major European shipping lines and the creation and conduct of locally financed and developed shipping networks (e.g. the steamship companies, the coastal tramps, the lighter and sampan trade).

Studies of banking and finance should be developed to cover:

- The development and organisation of local branches of European banks;
- The foundation and methods of small local family banks and their growth and development into major public companies;
- The methods, roles and importance of traditional moneylenders;
- The creation of the stock exchange;
- The organisation of capital support for the major national industries.

Systems for the collection and distribution of local raw materials and of foreign consumer goods should be studied and the methods by which European based companies operated through local middlemen need to be documented.

The changes or adaptations that had to be made in trade and business during the Second World War need to be investigated. The means by which new trade and markets were developed and the extent to which traditional commercial activities were maintained are of special interest.

By prescribing the general historical objectives of the programme in this way its implementation can also be organised most effectively.

As indicated in section 2, the age of the potential informants is a fundamental criterion by which to establish an order of priorities for the archive's work. An equally important consideration is the need to record as quickly as possible those key individuals who, for one reason or another, have made a singular or distinctive contribution to the archive's field of study.

5. Preparing the recording projects

When the scope and order of an overall programme has thus been decided the next stage is to elaborate its component parts so that each constitutes a clearly defined recording project for the centre to undertake. The projects must be historically coherent, in the sense that their subject and chronological limits are set to cover distinct chapters or episodes in the archive's field of interest. The boundaries of such projects should also be limited so that each one represents a research field that can be documented satisfactorily by the kind of relatively small and representative selection of interviews that economic constraints almost invariably impose on oral history recording.

Once these general requirements have been met the next stage is to work out in reasonable detail the objectives or research aims of each project. As an example of the kind of subject demarcation that is necessary in oral history research, a list of topics is set out below which guided interviewers in a project carried out at the Imperial War Museum. This project, designed to  investigate conditions of employment for women working in industry during the First World War, was first structured to cover the following main areas:

The job
The work place
Free time
Industrial relations
The war

Each of these topics was developed in some detail, the extent and nature of which may be demonstrated by one example. Thus, for 'The job', the following questions influenced the interviewers' approach:

- What was the official description of your job? How did the description compare with your actual work? Outline a routine day on the job.
- Which jobs were preferred? Which disliked and why? Under what circumstances did people change jobs?
- Describe the equipment used at work. Were any adaptations necessary for war production?
- What were your wages? How did they compare with earnings in previous employment? Were men and women paid the same? What did you think of the level of pay? What were the opportunities for overtime and promotion?
- What hours did you work? Were they typical? What were the shift and holiday arrangements?
- What did you wear? How much of this was provided by the employer?
- Did people make changes (e.g. for convenience or style)? What did you think about women wearing trousers? How did other people react to them?
- Were there shortages of staff or materials? Was there sufficient technical expertise? What was done about the shortages? What were the consequences of them?
- Did any new developments arise during wartime (e.g. in the job, the equipment or the product)?

The foregoing is not given as a prescription for designing oral history recordings projects. Obviously approaches must vary according to the subject being investigated, the research aims of the archive or the kind of informants who are to be recorded. But this example should further illustrate the degree and nature of preparation that oral history research generally requires. In this process the formulation of project papers, as above, imposes the necessary historical discipline on those responsible for organising the recording programme. In addition to defining clearly the aims of each project, such guidelines also go a long way towards ensuring high standards of planning and help to secure consistency of approach by the interviewers who are to carry out the work.

6. Approaches to individual studies

In many oral history projects informants will be selected for recording because they are representative of a particular group of people or a particular field of experience. Additionally, individuals may be chosen for interviewing as key informants because their unique or special experiences are of outstanding historical importance and essential for documenting a particular field of research satisfactorily (often such interviews are equally important for biographical purposes). These informants, leading politicians or trade unionists for example, sometimes warrant intensive interviewing. They also require special care so that the scale of recording is kept in proportion to the kind of contribution they have to make.

There are a number of possible approaches - not always mutually exclusive - to individual studies and the kind that is most appropriate should always be individually assessed. For example:

A full scale autobiographical interview or series of interviews with a prominent figure may be justified in cases where the person's life and work are largely undocumented.

In cases where the key person is dead, a series of biographical interviews with the third parties who knew him well may be worth carrying out towards the same ends as in the previous example.

There may be special events or episodes with which the individual is particularly associated (or which are relevant to the project at hand) and about which there is little available documentation. In such a case the individual study might be focused only on the areas or periods of special significance.

In an otherwise well documented life there can be minor gaps which it would be valuable to fill and recording might therefore best be devoted to, as it were, oral footnoting.

Finally, individual studies may be validly carried out to produce a 'voice-portrait' of the person concerned. In this case neither the aim nor the expectation: of the interview would be to produce original information. The object would be to create, through the medium of recorded sound, a distinctive kind of document illustrating and reflecting the individual's personality or style more than his record.

In choosing the appropriate approach for the particular person, the scale of the interview should be related to the objectives of the project and geared to the existing records concerning the particular informant. Thus, it may not be desirable to hold back the progress of a major project by many labour intensive and time consuming individual studies, while it would certainly not be sensible to interview a leader in depth if the recordings are only likely to add occasional new glimpses to a generally well documented career.

The extent to which individual studies should feature in any archive's recording programme or, indeed, whether such studies should be the archive's main or sole pursuit is a matter which the particular collecting centre must decide in the light of its own policy and priorities. However, for systematic planning and in order to build up a balanced collection there are good practical and historical reasons for archives to structure their work on a subject or topic basis. In general, detailed individual studies tend to be very much more labour intensive and time consuming than topical projects. In the latter case a great many informants can usually be interviewed on the basis of one main piece of preparatory research, while in the former only one interview (or several interviews with one person) will often be recorded for similar effort. The historical justification for a subject approach is that many - possibly most - research fields include several levels or perspectives all of which need to be represented if the subject is to be satisfactorily documented. A labour history project, for example, might naturally lead to intensive interviews with important trade union leaders and in this way individual studies can be appropriately and economically developed from within topical projects.

7. Some methodological considerations

The design of a recording programme and the construction of individual projects require a measure of methodological as well as subject judgement. Planning must include a process of assessment that should be based on practical experience of how oral history works best as a research method and an archival collecting technique. Obviously, this standard of judgement can only be provided by historians who have used oral history methods and have a good understanding of their nature and also of their limitations.

Oral history is now well enough established in many countries for methodological advice to be readily available. However, the selection of an adviser may present greater problems than the choice of subject specialists. For approaches to oral history vary not only between countries, but also within them. For some practitioners oral history is academically research directed; for others it is more archivally or broadly based; some oral historians see the value of the information collected as being directly related to the proximity of the recording with the events it describes; while others hold to the belief that the oral tradition communicates accurate and valid data across decades or even centuries. Such differences illustrate the range of approach and account for varying practices. It follows that a suitable adviser must be carefully chosen on the basis of the needs, purposes and functions of the archive in which the new programme is to be established. Therefore, selection may need to follow a survey of the aims and methods of other oral history practitioners or established recording programmes.

In cases where a methodological adviser is not locally available it may simply not be possible to establish a programme on a broad front in the short term. To do so would be at the probable cost of producing poor quality results at considerable expense. In these areas, programmes are best developed gradually, allowing skills to grow out of practical experience based on small projects with limited objectives. By encouraging and nurturing the development of local expertise, acquired from individual recording projects that are feasible in the short term, the quantity and range of work can be expanded into a coordinated programme at a later appropriate time.

Whether for individual projects or for broadly based recording programmes, some general questions should also be applied to test the practicability of any oral history research under consideration. For example:

Since oral history is dependent for worthwhile results on individual memory, is the subject proposed likely to be amenable to this fallible human faculty? Generally those subjects work best which are concerned with patterns of activity as opposed to single incidents that require precise factual recall.

Are the people available to be recorded sufficient in the number or categories required to cover satisfactorily the subject which is proposed? Here the more distant in time the events and the more complex their structure then the more difficult it may be to locate informants and to document the proposed subject satisfactorily.

Does the proposed project depend on key individuals and are they available and sufficiently articulate and reliable to provide the kind of information that is required?

Is the chronological span to be covered or the range of information to be sought practically manageable within the format of an interviewing project? In general, the objectives of any individual recording project are best limited in scale to a period and a subject range which can be conveniently managed and within which results can be clearly assessed.

How sensitive or controversial is the subject of the proposed project and would informants be likely to talk openly and at length on the matters involved? It would obviously be unwise and unprofitable to invest resources in areas where self-censoring could be expected to be a major problem.

How well documented by other kinds of records is the subject of the proposed project? If the project is unlikely to add much new documentation to the existing records, it would hardly merit a large investment or a high priority.

By the application of these kinds of questions and by taking the best available methodological (and subject) advice the most appropriate content and construction for an archive recording programme may be formulated.

8. Organisation and staffing

Once prepared, the oral history programme needs to be set within an organisational structure that will efficiently and effectively accommodate the particular functions involved in this field of sound archivisrn. The main functions are research and interviewing, technical processing and documentation (which includes transcribing, cataloguing and indexing). The suggestions made in this section presume an appropriate measure of financial support and the local availability of suitably qualified staff. Individual programmes will have to modify the structure to match their resources if these are insufficient to establish and sustain a fully professional archive.

The research and interviewing work of the archive should be carried out by qualified staff selected on the basis of providing the broadest possible range of specialised knowledge available for the development of the particular programme. Interviewers should generally be history graduates, but the archive staff responsible for selecting, designing or supervising recording projects should also have a higher degree and research experience. In addition to suitable subject knowledge, however, certain organisational aptitudes and qualities of personality are also needed. The tasks of preparing, organising and conducting individual recording projects and ensuring their proper co-ordination within an overall programme are parts of an administrative and management process as well as an historical one. Equally important are the personal characteristics - speed and clarity of thought and expression for example - necessary to use oral history interviewing methods to best advantage.

A full time research staff provides the optimum means of implementing a programme. If this is not obtainable, at least the overall control of each recording project should be in the hands of an experienced oral historian. By using a small group of permanent staff interviewers as project managers, the archive can develop quite a large recording programme with supporting interviewers who should be trained and properly supervised - employed on a short term voluntary, freelance or contract basis. By this means the number of permanent research staff may be kept to a reasonably economic level.

The number of research and interviewing staff will obviously depend on the scale of the programme that the archive plans to implement. For the collecting centre as a whole to operate efficiently, however, it is necessary to understand the relationship between the recording programme and the other functions which the archive has to carry out. It is not possible to provide figures that are exactly and universally applicable for all oral history recording, since methods and organisation will vary to some extent between different archives. It may be said, however, that one full time interviewer should be able to record up to one hundred hours of reminiscences a year based on about fifty interviewing sessions. (This, and other figures quoted in this section, are given as a rough guideline based on the practical experience of the Imperial War Museum's Department of Sound Records.) On the basis of this unit figure an archive can estimate a growth pattern for its collection and calculate the various kinds of resources that will be necessary to support it.

To illustrate the scale of staff support necessary for technical processing, one technician should be capable of copying to full archival standards about 600 hours of recorded interviews a year. Archives do not, however, need to reach this level before the appointment of a qualified technician can be justified since the maintenance of equipment and the conservation of the collection should also be the technician's responsibility. An oral history collection has no special or distinctive technical needs or problems. In fact the requirements of new programmes are likely to be more straightforward than those of some other kinds of sound archives dealt with in this book because recording interviews is technically less demanding than, for example, recording music or animal sounds and because oral history archives are generally less concerned with restoring and preserving old recordings.

The main documentation procedures in an oral history archive are transcribing, cataloguing and indexing. Transcribing -the process of presenting the information content of recordings in a typescript form - should be carried out by typists with a good general standard of education and a clear understanding of the structure and use of language. Their task is to produce an accurate typescript of each interview and - by the appropriate use of sentences, paragraphs and punctuation to make it as literate a document as possible without altering the words or sense of the speakers. Transcribing is an extremely time consuming process; on average one hour of tape may take eight hours to transcribe and three hours to proofread and correct. If the archive wants and can afford to transcribe all the interviews it records, the output from one full time interviewer would be more or less sufficient to keep one transcriber permanently occupied.

Cataloguing and indexing oral history interviews is also very labour intensive and it may take in the region of four hours to compile full catalogue and subject index entries for one hour of tape. These documentation services should be under the control of an experienced and well qualified cataloguer who is capable of designing and applying suitable systems for the organisation of audio documentation and who is supported by an appropriate number of staff able to apply consistently disciplined rules for the organisation of a collection.

In organising and staffing an oral history sound archive it cannot be stressed too strongly that the functions described above are part of a single and integrated process. It is therefore essential that a reasonable balance is struck between recording and the various stages of processing the resultant material. To achieve this requires the establishment and, as the recording programme develops, the maintenance of proper ratios between the various categories of archive staff. To summarise what has been detailed above, the ratio of two interviewers: two transcribers: one cataloguer may be a useful equation for establishing a balanced organisational structure, with one technician being capable of providing the necessary technical support for up to six full time interviewers.

9. Technical standards

The technical aspects of oral history work, as mentioned earlier, fall squarely within the general field of sound archivism. Such matters as equipment, tape, recording standards, copying, storage and preservation requirements have therefore been left to the technical chapter of this publication. Where there is proper concern for the technical quality of its sound documents, the oral history archive will require a similar range of portable and studio equipment as most other kinds of professional sound archives.

While oral history sound archives therefore have no technical needs that are peculiar to their field of work, there is some debate among oral historians and one that has a direct bearing on the financial aspects of planning -as regards the relative importance of the sound recording and the written document (i.e. the oral history transcript). This debate exists because many oral historians regard the tape recorder as but an electronic notebook and are only concerned that their recordings should be sufficiently audible to enable a typist to reproduce interviews in a written form. This kind of attitude to the recording is most frequently found in university centres where access to oral history collections is provided to an exclusively academic clientele. Since typescripts do provide more rapid and convenient access, this position is at least understandable when the sole interest in oral interviews lies in the research use of the information they contain. In such circumstances a strong case can be made for using a cheap cassette machine on which to record interviews.

Even for university collections, however , this argument is not entirely convincing. Its major flaw lies in the fact that interviews are oral records and their audio dimension contains a significant part of their message. The presentation of information verbally is qualitatively different from the style in which the same data would be presented in writing by the same speaker/author (the extent to which informants will seek to alter the form and content of their oral history transcripts is, perhaps, the best and most convincing evidence of this). In spoken reminiscences stress, pause, tone, pace and volume are among the characteristics of oral history interviews that the sound document alone fully and satisfactorily preserves. It is impossible to reproduce all the qualities of the oral record in a written form and the nuances of the spoken word give the sound document its own distinct character and value. Provided these audio characteristics are properly recorded and preserved, the resultant documents have wider and no less important applications than use by historians and other scholars. Thus in broadcasting and audio publication, in museums and elsewhere for exhibition purposes and in schools and colleges as teaching aids -as well as in scholarly use -lies the fullest application and dividend of oral history.

Appendix A: Suggestions for further reading

1. Approaches to the national organisation of sound archives

The chapter draws heavily upon discussions held during annual conferences of the International Association of Sound Archives. Some of these discussions are summarised in the Association's journal, the Phonographic Bulletin. The relevant issues are listed below.

Cnattingius, C. 'Preservation of sound and pictures: a report of a Swedish government committee' in No. 11; 1975

Cnattingius, C. 'National research archives: specialized or multi-media archives?' in No. 16; 1976

Hubert, R. 'Circulation centres in Austria for the distribution of sound recordings: a national plan' in No. 23; 1979

Saul, P. 'National sound archives' in No. 16; 1976

Schuursma, R. 'National research sound archives: some thoughts for discussion' in No.14; 1976

Schuursma, R. 'National and specialized archives: a Dutch proposal' in No.16; 1976

2. The technical basis of sound archive work

(a) Organisation and General Advice on Security

Aschinger, E. 'Report on measurements of magnetic stray fields in sound archives' in Phonographic Bulletin, No.27; 1980

IASA Technical Committee 'Standard for tape exchange between sound archives' in Phonographic Bulletin, No.19; 1977

Jagschitz, G. and Hubert , R. 'Zur Methodik historischer Tondokurnentation' in Das Schallarchiv, Nos. l and 2; 1977

Lotichius, D. 'Sicherheit zuerst: auch fUr Tontrager' in Phonographic Bulletin, No.4; 1972 (English version in Phonographic Bulletin, No.5; 1972)

Schuller, D. 'Zur Auswahl und Wartung von Geraten im Schallarchiv' in Das Schallarchiv, No.7; 1980

(b) Preservation and Storage of Sound Recordings

Bertram, H.N. and Eshel, A. Recording Media Archival Attributes (Magnetic); New York: Rome Air Development Center; 1980

EBU Technical Centre Study of the Storage of Sound Programmes Recorded on Magnetic Tape; Brussels: European Broadcasting Union; 1971

Fontaine, J.-M. Conservation des Enregistrements Sonores sur Bandes Magnetiques; Paris: Centre de Recherches sur la Conservation des Documents Graphiques; 1981

Knight, G.A. 'Factors relating to long term storage of magnetic tape' in Phonographic Bulletin, No.18; 1977 (first published by EMI Central Research Laboratories in 1976)

Pickett, A.G. and Lemcoe, M.M. Preservation and Storage of Sound Recordings; Washington: Library of Congress; 1959

Schüller, D. 'Lagerung und Konservierung von Schalltragern' in Das Schallarchiv, No.3; 1978

(c) Comparative Measurement of Tapes, Print-Through

Bertram, H.N., Stafford, M.K. and Mills, D.R. 'The print-through phenomenon' in Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, Vol.28, No. 10; 1980

Ford, H. 'Magnetic tape' in Studio Sound, Vo1.l9, No.8; 1977

Ford, H. 'Audio tapes' in Studio Sound, Vol.23, No.4; 1981

McKenzie, A. 'Recording tape' in Studio Sound, Vol.17, No.2; 1975

Schüller, D. 'Archival tape test' in Phonographic Bulletin, No.27; 1980

3. Documentation

(a) International Standardization

The debate on international standardization currently focuses on International Standard Bibliographic Description for Non-Book Materials; London: International Federation of Library Associations; 1977. For the purposes of this chapter, the most significant discussion of ISBD(NBM) may be found in 'ISBD(NBM): Sound recordings amendments and additions' by the IASA Cataloguing Committee and the IAML (International Association of Music Libraries) Working Group on ISBD(NBM), published in both Phonographic Bulletin, No.29; 1981 and Fontes Artis Musicae, Vol.28, Nos.1-2; 1981.

(b) Cataloguing Rules

The product of the most thorough international discussion of cataloguing rules is Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules 2nd Edition (AACR2) edited by Michael Gorman and Paul W. Wink1er and prepared by the American, British and Canadian Library Associations (published Chicago, London and Ottawa; 1978).

AACR2 provides guidance on points of detail even for archives not following the overall cataloguing strategy advocated by the rules. For cataloguing agencies wishing to adopt AACR2 in full, various authors have offered guides and handbooks. Some representative examples are:

Fleischer, E.B. and Goodman, H. Cataloguing Audiovisual Materials; New York: Neal-Schumar and London: Mansell; 1980

Hunter E.J. and Fox, N.J. Examples Illustrating AACR2; London: Library Association; 1980

Olson, N.B. Cataloguing of Audiovisual Materials: A Manual Based on AACR2; Mankato: Minnesota Scholarly Press; 1981

Roe, G. (Ed.) Seminar on AACR2; London: Library Association 1980

The existence of AACR2 casts its shadow over any previous cataloguing rules but does not, of course, invalidate them. A useful review of what might be designated the pre-ISBD/AACR2 generation was prepared for UNESCO in 1975 (though unfortunately not made widely available) as A Survey of Existing Systems and Current Proposals for the Cataloguing and Description of Non-Book Materials etc. by C.P. Ravilious Paris: UNESCO: 1975 .

(c) Indexing and Classification

A useful general introduction is contained in The Subject Approach to Information (3rd edition) by A.C. Foskett (London: Bingley; 1978). Guidelines on thesaurus building are available as Thesaurus Construction: A Practical Manual by Jean Aitchison and A1an Gilchrist (London: ASLIB; 1972).

Archives anxious to avoid thesaurus construction or expected to conform to a standard classification system may need access to the appropriate language version of UDC, the Universal Decimal Classification - normally published by a local standards institute and subject to continual revision and expansion.

(d) Computing

Most national and international attempts at standardized computer data formats are built around local variations of the (originally United States) MARC format, and are published by local library associations, national libraries or major cataloguing agencies. However see also Universal MARC Format, 2nd Edition published by IFLA International Office for Universal Bibliographic Control (London; 1980).

Experience with specific computer systems may be written up in journals (see e below). Otherwise insights into the use of computers (although not in a context at all specific to sound archivism) may be gained from the following publications:

Cook, M. Archives and the Computer; London: Butterworths; 1980

Orna, E. and Pettit, C. Information Handling in Museums; New York: Saur and London: Bingley; 1980

Tedd, L.A. An Introduction to Computer-Based Library Systems; London: Heyden; 1977

(e) Sound Archive Experience

Beyond the largely indirect coverage suggested above in works on cataloguing or audiovisual cataloguing generally, there are few publications that concern themselves with the topic of cataloguing and indexing in sound archives. Cataloguing is, however, referred to in general publications on archive management and published accounts of the work of individual sound archives such as are referred to elsewhere in this book. Mention is made here only of three journal articles that further discuss systems looked at briefly in the case studies in chapter Ill; they may be taken as representative of the kind of account that may be found.

Da1fsen, J. von 'Cataloguing and the computer: the use of the computer in the documentation systems of the Netherlands Broadcasting Foundation NOS' in Phonographic Bulletin, No.2l; 1978

Moyle, A. and Koch, G. 'Computerised cataloguing of field recorded music in Phonographic Bulletin, No.28; 1980

Smither, R. 'Using APPARAT: cataloguing film and sound recordings at the Imperial War Museum' in ASLIB Proceedings Vol. 3l, No.4; 1979

4. Public access and dissemination

Battistelli, L. 'The cassettes of radio France' in Phonographic Bulletin, No.26; 1980 (detailed discussion of a successful distribution system)

Bordin, R.B. and Warner, R.M. The Modern Manuscript Library; New York: Scarecrow Press Inc.; 1960 (general chapters on the relationship between a library, the researcher, the public, and a good overview on a publications programme)

British Broadcasting Corporation Report of the Advisory Committee on Archives; London: BBC; 1979 (a revealing internal look at the programmes and policies of the BBC sound archives both for recorded programmes and gramophone records as well as the music libraries)

Brooks, P.C. Research in Archives: The Use of Unpublished Primary Sources; Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1969 useful chapters on the relationship between 'The researcher and the archivist' and 'Limitations on access and use')

Chalou, G. 'Reference' in Baumann, R.M. (Ed.) A Manual of Archival Techniques; Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; 1979 (a general account of the basic principles and practices for in-house service to researchers)

Chantereau, D. 'Utilization of sound archives entrusted to the Institut National de L'Audio-Visuel' in Phonographic Bulletin, No.26; 1980

Clark, R.L. Archive -Library Relations; New York: Bowker; 1976 (useful general chapters on access and confidentiality, public relations and fund raising)

Cook, M. Archives Administration: A Manual for Intermediate and Smaller Organisations and for Local Government; London: William Dawson and Sons; 1977 detailed chapters on archival searchroom services, developmental services and the use of archives in education)

Duckett, K.W. Modern Manuscripts: A Practical Manual for Their Management, Care and Use; Nashville: American Association for State and Local History; 1975 (several broad chapters on the use of collections and public service practices)

Hoffman, F.W. The Development of Library Collections of Sound Recordings; Basel: Marcel Dekker AG; 1980 Vol.28 in Books in Library and Information Science series)

Holbert, S.E. Archives and Manuscripts: Reference and Access; Chicago: Society of American Archivists; 1977 (from the Basic Manual Series; gives a detailed presentation of the basic archival principles to be followed)

Lance, D. 'Access and use in a museum' in Phonographic Bulletin, No.22; 1978 (a good brief description from an archivist's point of view of the policies and practices for dissemination and use of sound recordings at the Imperial War Museum)

McWilliams, J. The Preservation and Restoration of Sound Recordings; Nashville: American Association for State and Local History; 1979 (the chapter on 'Preservation policy' has pertinent comments on how reference service and use affect the preservation of recordings)

Public Archives of Canada Sound Archives: A Guide to Procedures; Ottawa: PAC; 1979 (the only published manual by a sound archive covering archival functions and procedures from preservation to reference and restrictions. Essential reading)

Roberts, D.L. 'Practice and problems of access to sound archives in North America' in Phonographic Bulletin, No.17; 1977 (good discussion of access policies and practices at several sound archives and libraries in the United States. Unfortunately it focuses only on published commercial sound recordings)

Schellenberg, T.R. Modern Archives: Principles and Techniques; Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1956 basic principles are set forth in the chapter on 'Reference service')

Stapley, L. 'BBC archive material for other than broadcasting purposes' in Phonographic Bulletin, No.17; 1977

Stephenson, G. (Ed.) 'Trends in archival and reference collections of recorded sound' in Library Trends, No.21; 1972 (extremely interesting articles on sound scholarship and the scope, functions and use of sound archives in the United States)

Hecker, J. von 'Access to sound archives (German broadcasting archives)' in Phonographic Bulletin, No.28; 1980

5. Broadcasting

There is very little literature available on sound archivism in broadcasting organisations. The most useful accessible source of information on the subject is the Phonographic Bulletin, from which all the references listed below are taken.

Eckersley, T. 'The selection of recordings for permanent retention in the BBC sound archives' in No.9; 1974

Heckmann, H. 'Das Deutsche Rundfunkarchiv' in No.7; 1973

Hempel, H. 'Spoken word documentation at the Sudwestfunk radio sound archives' in No.28; 1980

Kumrnen, T. 'The sound archive of Norsk rikskringkasting, Oslo, with a brief survey of other sound archives in Norway' in No.16; 1976

Lotichius, D. 'Radio broadcasting archives' in No.22; 1978

Muller, H. 'Radio sound archives in West Germany' in No.20; 1978

Ocloo, S.L. 'Ghana broadcasting corporation: legacies in sound' in No.26; 1980

Saul, P. 'Recording of broadcasts' in No.7; 1973

Spivacke, H. 'Broadcasting sound archives and scholarly research' in No.7; 1973

Stapley, L. 'BBC archive material for other than broadcasting purposes' in No.17, 1977

Stapley, L. 'Radio broadcasting archives' in No.22; 1978

Tainsh, K.B. 'The sound archives of Sveriges radio' in No.16; 1976

Trebble, T. 'Classification and cataloguing practice in the BBC sound archives' in No.22; 1978

6. Commercial records

For a more extensive listing than is attempted here, readers are referred to the bibliographies published in the following three works (which should also be compulsory reading for everybody working in this field):

McWilliams, J. The Preservation and Restoration of Sound Recordings; Nashville: American Association of State and Local History; 1979

Rust, B. Brian Rust's Guide to Discography; Westport, Conn. and London: Greenwood Press; 1980

Elste, M. Schallplatten-Forschung; Munchen: Kraus International Publications; 1981

(a) Record Industry

The international history of the record industry still remains to be written. Most of the works on the industry deal with the viewpoint of one country and none are wholly satisfactory. The following publications will, however, serve as an introduction:

Denisoff, R.S. Solid Gold: The Popular Record Industry; New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Books; 1975 in USA only)

Gelatt, R. The Fabulous Phonograph; London: Cassel; 1956 and subsequent editions (a popular history of the record industry, good as an introduction but not very detailed)

Gronow, P. 'The record industry comes to the Orient' in Ethnomusicology, Vol.XXV/2; 1981 (an aspect of the industry's history usually neglected in general histories)

Lotz, R. Grammophonlatten aus der Ragtime-era; Dortmund: Harenberg Komrnunikation; 1979 the early history of the German industry, with emphasis on record label illustrations)

Read, O. and Welch, W.L. From Tin Foil to Stereo; Indianapolis: Sams; 1976 (the best technical history of the industry so far, but unacceptably inaccurate on developments outside the USA)

Rust, B. The American Record Label Book; New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House; 1978 (an introduction to American record companies and their British connections before 1942. Not as complete as it claims and occasionally inaccurate, but basically sound)

Schulz-Köhn, D. Die Schallplatte auf dem Weltmarkt; Berlin: Rehr; 1940 (this hard-to-find volume is still the best economic history of the industry)

(b) Discography
Gray, M. and Gibson, G.D. Bibliography of Discographies Vol. 1; New York: R.R. Bowker and Co.; 1077 (this series will eventually provide references to all known discographies. The first volume deals with classical music. There are also current listings of new discographies in the journal of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections (see below)

Bauer, R. Historical Records; London: Sidgwick and Jackson; 1946 (classical vocals)

Daniélou, A. Catalogue of Recorded Classical and Traditional Indian Music; Paris: UNESCO; 1952

Girard, V. and Barnes, H.M. Vertical Cut Cylinders and Discs; London: British Institute of Recorded Sound; 1971 (a catalogue of all 'hill-and-dale' recordings of serious worth made and issued between circa 1897-1933. Classical only but a good introduction to vertical-cut records)

Haapen, V. Suomalaisten äailevyjen luettelo: Catalogue of Finnish Records; Helsinki: Suomen aanitearkisto; 1967-81 (the only comprehensive national discography in the world, it covers all Finnish records. Nineteen volumes are published covering 1902-80)

Jepsen, J.G. Jazz Records 1942-62 (12 volumes); Holte, Denmark: Karl Emil Knudsen; 1963-69

Labbe, G. Les Pionniers du disque folk1orique quebecois 1920-1950; Montreal: Les Editions de l'Aurore; 1977

Moogk, E.B. Roll Back the Years; Ottawa: National Library of Canada; 1975 (a history and discography of Canadian recordings to 1930. Together with the Labbe and Taft works, it illustrates three different approaches to Canadian discography)

Ruppli, M. Atlantic Records, Vols.1-4; Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press; 1979 (a label discography listing all records issued by a single company between 1947 and 1978)

Rust, B. The Victor Master Book 1925-1936; Hatch End, Middlesex: author; 1969 (another approach to listing the production of a single company by matrix-master numbers. Classical and foreign language recordings are not included)

Rust, B. Jazz Records A-Z, 1897-1942; New York: Arlington House (and other editions); 1978

Rust, B. Discography of Historical Records on Cylinders and 78s; Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press; 1978 speech recordings in English by prominent historical figures)

Rust, B. British Music Hall on Record; London: General Gramophone Publication; 1979

Taft, M. A Regional Discography of Newfoundland and Labrador 1904-1972; St. John's, Newfoundland: Memorial University of Newfoundland; 1975

Toth, A. Recordings of the Traditional Music of Bali and Lombok; Ann Arbor, Mich.: Society for Ethnomusicology; 1980

(c) Journals

Past issues of the Association of Recorded Sound Collections Journal (P.O. Box 1643, Manassa VA 22110, USA) gives a good overview of the field. Those who wish to see sound archives in a wider context should also read the Summer-Fall 1980 issue of the Quarterly Journal of the Library of Congress, which is dedicated to the new Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division of the Library.

7. Dialect

Abercrombie, D. 'The recording of dialect material' in Orbis: Bulletin International de Documentation Linguistique, Vol.iii; 1954; pp.23l-235

Adams, G.B., Barry, M.V. and Tilling, P.M., A Tape Recorded Survey of Hiberno-English: Questionnaire; published privately; 1976

Barry, M.V. (Ed.) Aspects of English Dialects in Ireland, Vol. l; Belfast: The Institute of Irish Studies, The Queen's University of Belfast; 1981

Bernstein, B. 'Social class, language and socialization' in Giglio1i, P.P. (Ed.) Language and Social Context; Harmondsworth: Penguin Books; 1972

Bloomfield, L. Language, (Chapter 19, 'Dialect geography'); London: George Allen and Unwin; 1950

Branch, M.A. (Trslr.) Castrenianum -The Centre of Research into Finnish and its Related Languages; Helsinki, 1965

Chambers, J.K. and Trudgill, P. Dialectology; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1980

Cochrane, G.R. 'The Australian English vowels as a diasystem' in Word - Journal of the Linguistic Circle of New York, Vol. 15; 1959; pp.69-88

Dieth, E. and Orton H. A Questionnaire for a Linguistic Atlas of England; Leeds: Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society; 1952

Hedblom, F. 'The tape recording of dialect for linguistic sound archives' in Svenska Landsmal och Svenskt Folkliv: 1961; pp. 5I-100

Iordan, I. and Orr, J. An Introduction to Romance Linguistics, revised by Posner, R., with a supplement: Thirty Years On (chapter III -'Linguistic geography', and pp.470-1); Oxford: Basil Blackwell; 1970

Ivic, P. 'On the structure of dialectal differentiation' in Austerlitz, R. (Eds.) Linguistic Essays on the Occasion of the Ninth International Congress of Linguistics; New York: Linguistic Circle of New York; 1962, pp.33-53 .

Jakobson, R. and Waugh, L.R. The Sound Shape of Language; Brighton: Harvester Press; 1979

Kurath, H. Handbook of the Linguistic Geography of New England; Providence, Rhode Island: Brown University; 1939

Kurath, H. A Word Geography of the Eastern United States; Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press; 1949

Kurath, H. and McDavid Jr., R.I. The Pronunciation of English in the Atlantic States; Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press; 1961

Kurath, H. Studies in Area Linguistics; Bloomington: Indiana University Press; 1972

Mather, J.Y. and Speitel, H.H. The Linguistic Atlas of Scotland Scots Section; London: Croom Helm; Vol. l 1975, Vol.2 1977

Mclntosh, A. Introduction to a Survey of Scottish Dialects; Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh; 1952

Milroy, L. Language and Social Networks; Oxford: Basil Blackwell; 1980

Moulton, W.G. 'The short vowel systems of northern Switzerland' in Word - Journal of the Linguistic Circle of New York, Vol.16; 1960; pp.155-182

Orton, H. and Wright, N. A Word Geography of England; London: Seminar Press; 1974

Orton, H., Sanderson S. and Widdowson, J. (Eds.), The Linguistic Atlas of England; London: Croom Helm;-r978

Petyt, K.M. The Study of Dialect; London: Andre Deutsch; 1980

Pop, S. La Dialectologie: Aperçu Historique et Méthodes d'Enquêtes Linguistigues. I: Dialectologie Romane 11: Dialectologie Non Romane; Louvain: Gembloux, Duculot; 1950

Pulgram, E. 'Structural comparison, diasystems and dialectology', Linguistics, 4; 1964; pp.66-82

Samarin, W.J. Field Linguistics: A Guide to Linguistic Field Work; New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston; 1967

Silvertsen, E. Cockney Phonology; Oslo: Oslo University Press; 1960

Thomas, A.R. The Linguistic Geography of Wales; Cardiff: University of Wales Press; 1973

Thomas, A.R. Areal Analysis of Dialect Data by Computer: A Welsh Example; Cardiff: University of Wales Press; 1980

Trubetzkoy, N.S. Principles of Phonology (translated by Baltaxe, C.A.M.); Berkeley: University of California Press; 1969

Trudgill, P. Sociolinguistics: An Introduction; Harmondsworth: Penguin Books; 1974

Trudgill, P. The Social Differentiation of English in Norwich; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1974

8. Ethnomusicology

(a) General

Brâiloiu, C. 'Equisse d'une methode de folklore musical (organisation d'archives), in Revue de musicologie; 1931. English translation 'Outline of a method of musical folklore' in Ethnomusicology, (Journal of the Society of Ethnomusicology), Vol.14; 1970

Brednich, R.W., Rohrich, L. und Suppan, W. (Hsg.) Handbuch des Volksliedes; Munchen: Fink; 1975

Broere, B.J. 'The politics of fieldwork. The extent to which politics plays a role in the organization of fieldwork and research' in Phonographic Bulletin, No.2l; 1978

Ellis, J.A. 'On the musical scales of various nations' in Journal of the Society of Arts; 1885

Graf, W. Vergleichende Musikwissenschaft. Ausgewählte Aufsätze, herausgegeben van Franz Fodermayr; Wien -Fohrenau; Elisabeth Stiglmayr; 1980

Kolinski, M. 'Ethnomusicology, its problems and methods' in Ethnomusicology (Journal of the Society of Ethnomusicology), Vol. l (newsletter No.IO); 1957

Kolinski, M. 'Recent trends in ethnomusicology' in Ethnomusicology (Journal of the Society of Ethnomusicology), Vol. 11; 1967

Kunst, J. Ethnomusicology; Den Haag: Nijhoff; 1955

Merriam, A.P. The Anthropology of Music; Evanston: Northwestern University Press; 1964.

Nettl, B. Theory and Method in Ethnomusicology; London: The Free Press of Glencoe, Collier -Macmillan Ltd.,; 1964

(b) Fieldwork

Blacking, J. 'Fieldwork in African music' in Review of Ethnology, Vol.3, No.23; 1973

Brandl, R.M. 'Der Einfluss der Feldforschungstechniken auf die Auswertbarkeit musikethnologischer Quellen' in Bulletin of the International Committee on Urgent Anthropological and Ethnological Research, Vol.13; 1971

Deutsche Gesselschaft fur Musik des Orients (Hsg.) 'Musikologische Feldforschung. Aufgaben, Erfahrungen, Techniken' in Beitrage zur Ethnomusikologie, Vol.9; Hamburg; 1981

(c) Transcription

Abraharn, O. und von Hornbostel, E.M. 'Vorschläge für die Transkription exotischer Melodien' in Sammelbände der Internationalen Musik-Gesellschaft; 1910

(d) Copyright

Marcel-Dubois, C. 'Un essai de valorisation d'archives sonores' in Phonographic Bulletin, No.17; 1977 (with German translation)

Ternisien, R. 'History of copyright' in Phonographic Bulletin, No.17; 1977 (with French translation)

(e) Cataloguing

Kaufman, J. 'Subject and name access to musics other than Western Art' in Phonographic Bulletin, No.2l; 1978

9. Folklore

Aceves, P. and Einar -Mullarky, M. 'Folklore archives of the world: a preliminary guide' in Folklore Forum (Bibliographic and Special Series); 1968

Allen, B. and Montell, L. From Memory to History: Using Oral Sources in Local Historical Research; Nashville: American Association for State and Local History; 1981

Boggs, R.S. 'Folklore classification' in Southern Folklore Quarterly, No.13; 1949 205

Dorson, R.M. 'Introduction: collecting oral folklore in the United States' in Dorson, R.M. (Ed.) Buying the Wind: Regional Folklore in the United States; Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1964

Dorson, R.M. 'The use of printed sources' in Dorson, R.M. (Ed.) Folklore and Folklife: An Introduction; Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1972

Evans, E.E. 'The cultural geographer and folklife research' in Dorson, R.M. Folklore and Folklife: An Introduction; Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1972

Georges, R.A., Blumenreich, B. and O'Reilly, K. 'Two mechanical indexing systems for folklore archives: a preliminary report' in Journal of American Folklore, No.87; 1974

Georges, R.A. and Jones, M.O. People Studying People: The Human Element in Fieldwork; Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press; 1980

Gillis, F. 'The Indiana university archives of traditional music' in Phonographic Bulletin, No.7; 1973

Goldstein, P.S. A Guide for Fieldworkers in Folklore; Hatboro, Pa.: Folklore Associates; 1964

Goldstein, K.S. 'Harvesting folklore' in Coffin Ill, T. (Ed.) American Folklore: Voice of America Forum Lectures; Washington DC: Voice of America, US Information Agency; 1968

Higgs, J.W.Y. Folklife Collecting and Classification; London: Museums' Association; 1963

Ives, E.D. The Tape-Recorded Interview: A Manual for Fieldworkers in Folklore and Oral History revised and enlarged edition); Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press; 1980

Jenkins, J.G. 'The use of artifacts and folk art in the folk museum' in Dorson, R.M.(Ed.) Folklore and Folklife: An Introduction; Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1972

Klymasz, R.B. 'An introduction to the folklore division of the national museum of Canada, Ottawa in The Folklore and Folk Music Archivist, No.l; 1967

Leach, M. and Glassie, H. A Guide for Collectors of Oral Tradition and Folk Material in Pennsylvania; Harrisburg, Pa.: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission; 1968

List, G. 'Fieldwork: recording traditional music' in Dorson, R.M. (Ed.) Folklore and Folklife: An Introduction; Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1972

List, G. 'Archiving' in Dorson, R.M.(Ed.) Folklore and Folklife: An Introduction; Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1972

MacDonald, D.A. 'Fieldwork: collecting oral literature' in Dorson, R.M.(Ed.) Folklore and Folklife: An Introduction; Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1972

O. Suilleabhain, S. A Handbook of Irish Folklore; Dublin: the Folklore of Ireland Society; 1942

Rasmussen, H. 'Classification systems of European ethnological material' in Ethnologia Europe, No.4; 1970

Roberts, W.E. 'Fieldwork: recording material culture' in Dorson, R.M.(Ed.) Folklore and Folklife: An Introduction; Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1972

Stevenson, G. (Ed.) 'Trends in archival and reference collection of archival sound' in Library Trends, Vol.2l, No. l; 1972

Wildhaber, R. 'Folk atlas mapping' in Dorson, R.M.(Ed.) Folklore and Folklife: An Introduction; Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1972

10. Linguistics

(a) General Works on Linguistics

Fowler, R. Understanding Language; London: Routledge and Kegan Paul; 1974

Fromkin, V. and Rodman, R. An Introduction to Languages; New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston; second edition; 1978

Stork, E.C. and Widdowson, J.D.A. Learning About Linguistics: An Introductory Workbook; London: Hutchinson Educational; 1974

Minnis, Noel (Ed.) Linguistics at Large; St. Albans, Hertfordshire: Paladin; 1973 (fourteen linguistic lectures presented to a general audience by the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London 1969-70, including well known contributors such as Basil Bernstein, Edmund Leach, John Lyons, Randolph Quink, George Steiner, Peter Strawson, and Stephen Ullmann)

Sebeok, T. (Ed.) Current Trends in Linguistics; The Hague: Mouton; 14 Vols. 1963-1976 (this enormous compendium covers all geographical areas as regards linguistics and most general linguistic topics)

(b) Works on Language in Relation to Culture and Society

Ardener, E. (Ed.) Social Anthropology and Language; London: Tavistock; 1971

Bauman, R. and Scherzer, J. (Eds.) Explorations in the Ethnography of Speaking; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1974

Hyrnes, D. (Ed.) Language in Culture and Society: A Reader in Linguistics and Anthropology; New York: Harper and Row; 1964

Shopen, T. (Ed.) Languages and Their Speakers; Cambridge, Mass.: Winthrop; 1979

Shopen, T. (Ed.) Languages and Their Status; Cambridge, Mass.: Winthrop; 1974 (these two volumes edited by Shopen provide an introduction for the general reader to a wide range of languages and to their social functions)

(c) Works on Linguistic Areas

Studies of various linguistic areas are of considerable value in providing a general orientation for collectors and in deciding on the content of the data to be deposited in the archive. A few works are given here as examples but other areas are covered in the previously mentioned compendium edited by T. Sebeok.


Polome, E.C. and Hill, C.P. (Eds.) Language in Tanzania; London: Oxford University Press; 1980 (a guide giving basic information on languages in Tanzania as well as wider issues such as language in education and language use in Tanzania. This is one of the Ford Foundation Language Surveys which, in Africa, have already covered Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda and Zambia as well as Tanzania)

Welmers, W. Linguistics Structures of Africa; Berkeley: University of California Press; 1973 (a general orientation to the grammatical structure of some African languages)


Black, P. and Walsh, M. Prominent Australian Languages; Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies; forthcoming (a brief account of the linguistic situation in Australia)

Blake, B. Australian Aboriginal Languages: An Introduction; Sydney: Angus and Robertson; 1981 (a useful guide for the general reader)

Dixon, R.M.W. The Languages of Australia; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1980 (a valuable overview for the general reader but also suitable for the more advanced linguist)

Dixon, R.M.W. and Blake, B.J. (Eds.) Handbook of Australian Languages; Canberra: Australian National University Press and Amsterdam: John Benjamins; Vol.l, 1979; Vol.2, 1981 (a collection of sketch descriptions of Australian languages in parallel format)

Wurm, S.A. (Ed.) Australian Linguistic Studies; Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, C-S4; 1979 Ca collection of recent studies on a variety of topics dealing with Australian languages)

New Guinea

Wurm, S.A.(Ed.) Papuan Languages and the New Guinea Linguistic Scene New Guinea Area Languages and Language Study, Vol. l); Canberra: Pacific Linguistics,C-38; 1975 (reprinted 1977)

Wurm, S.A. (Ed.) Austronesian Languages (New Guinea Languages and Language Study, Vol.2); Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, C-39; 1976 (reprinted 1979)

Wurm, S.A. (Ed.) Language, Culture, Society, and the Modern World (New Guinea Area Languages and Language Study, Vol.3); Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, C-40; 1977 (2 fascicles)

(d) Guides to Field Linguistics

Samarin, W. Field Linguistics: A Guide to Linguistic Field Work; New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston; 1967 (a good general guide)

Sherzer, J. and Damell, R. 'Outline guide for the ethnographic study of speech use' in Gumperz, J. and Hymes, D. (Eds.) Directions in Sociolinguistics: The Ethnograph of Communication; New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston; 1972 a useful guide for the study of language in day-to-day use; the rest of the volume merits attention and includes a valuable guide to further reading)

Sutton, P. and Walsh, M. Revised Linguistic Fieldwork Manual for Australia; Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies; 1979 (an example of a fieldwork guide designed for a particular area)

Thomas, D. Notes and Queries on Linguistic Analysis (Language Data, Asian-Pacific Series No. 10); Huntington Beach, California: Summer Institute of Linguistics; 1975

11. Natural history

Except where otherwise indicated, all the references listed below may be found in Recorded Sound, Journal of the British Institute of Recorded Sound.

(a) History

Boswal1, J. 'Some major events in the world history of bird sound recording' in No.34; 1969

(b) Wildlife Sound Libraries

Boswall, J. and Kettle, R. 'A revised world list of wildlife sound libraries' in Nos.74-75, 70-72; 1979

(c) Published Records

Boswa11, J. 'A bibliography of wildlife discographies' in No.54; 1974

Boswal1, J. 'A supplementary bibliography of wildlife discographies' in Nos.74-75; 1979

Kettle, R. and Boswa11, J. 'A discography of amphibian sounds' in No.79; 1981

(d) Wildlife Sound Archives and Their Organisation

Bondesen, P. ‘A bio-acoustic laboratory in Denmark' in No.34; 1969

Boswa11, J. ‘A general introduction to BLOWS' in No.34; 1969

Gulledge, J.L. ‘The library of natural sounds at the laboratory of ornithology' in Nos.74-75; 1979

Kendrick, J.L. 'Bird sound recording in New Zealand' in Nos.74-75; 1979

Stannard, J. ‘Bird sound recording in South Africa' in No.34; 1969

Sellar, P.J. ‘Notes for contributing recordists and users of BLOWS' in No.34; 1969

Veprintsev, B.N. 'Wildlife sound recording in the Soviet Union' in Nos.74-75; 1979

(e) Wildlife Sound Recording

Ausobsky, A. Tonbandjagd auf Tierstimmen; Stuttgart: Kosmos; 1964

Fisher, J.B. Wildlife Sound Recording; London: Pelham Books; 1977

Gulledge, J.L. 'Recording bird sounds' in The Living Bird, No. 15; 1979

Hawkins, A.D. 'Sounds from the sea' in Nos. 74-7S; 1979

12. Oral history

(a) Books and Articles

Baum, W.K. Oral History for the Local Historical Society; Nashville, Tennessee: American Association for State and Local History; 1969

Baum, W.K. Transcribing and Editing Oral History; Nashville, Tennessee: American Association for State and Local History; 1977

Brooks, M. 'General fieldwork problems' in Phonographic Bulletin, No.30; 1981

Deering, M.J. 'State of the art' in OHMAR Newsletter, No.5; 1981

Drexel Library Quarterly, No. 15 'Managing oral history collections in the library'; 1979

Evans, G.E. The Days That We Have Seen; London: Faber and Faber; 1975 (see particularly chapters 1 and 2)

Evans, G.E. 'Approaches to interviewing' in Oral History, No.4; 1975

Friedel, F. and Leutchenbury, W.E.: see debate on the importance of oral history in Starr, L. (Ed.) Proceedings of the Second National Colloquium; Oral History Association; 1968

Goody, J. Literacy in Traditional Societies; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 1968

Haley, A. 'Black history, oral history and genealogy' in The Oral History Review; 1973

Harrison, N. 'Oral history and recent political history' in Oral History, Vol. l, No.3; 1973

Henige, D. 'The problem of feed-back in oral tradition' in Journal of African History, Vo1.19; 1973

Henige, D. The Quest for Chimera: the Chronology of Oral Tradition; Oxford: Clarendon Press; 1974

Hoyle, N. 'Oral history' in Library Trends, Vol.2l; 1972

Ives, E.D. The Tape-Recorded Interview: A Manual for Field Workers in Folklore and Oral History; Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press; 1980

Lance, D. 'Oral history recording: a note on legal considerations' in Oral History, Vol.4, No. l; 1976

Lance, D. An Archive Approach to Oral History; London: Imperial War Museum and International Association of Sound Archives; 1978

Lochead, R. 'Three approaches to oral history: the journalistic, the academic, and the archival' in Journal of the Canadian Oral History Association; Vol.l; 1975-6

Menninger, R. 'Some psychological factors involved in oral history interviewing' in The Oral History Review, 1975

Montell, W.L. and Allen, B. From Memory to History: Using Oral Sources in Local Historical Research; Nashville, Tennessee: American Association for State and Local History; 1981

Moss, W. Oral History Program Manual; New York: Praeger Publishers; 1974

Nevins, A. The Gateway to History; New York: D. Appleton Century; 1938

Nevins, A. 'How and why it was born' in W.L.B., No.40; 1966

Niethammer, L. (Ed.) Lebenserfahrung und Kollectives Gedachtnis die Praxis der 'Oral History'; Frankfort: Syndikat; 1980

Ostry, B. 'The illusion of understanding: making the ambiguous intelligible' in The Oral History Review; 1975

Pfaff, E. 'Oral history: a new challenge for public libraries' in Wilson Library Bulletin, No.54; 1980

Raphael, F. 'Archives orales: une autre histoire' in Annales A.S.C., Vol.35, No. l; 1980

Roberts, A. 'The use of oral sources in African history' in Oral History, Vol.4, No. l; 1976

Rumics, E. 'Oral history: defining the term' in Wilson Library Bulletin, No.40, 1966 212

Schuursma, R. 'Oral history and sound archives' in Phonographic Bulletin, No.30; 1981

Seldon, A. By Word of Mouth; London: Methuen; forthcoming

Starr, L. 'Oral history: problems and prospects' in Advances in Librarianship, Vol. II; New York: Seminar Press; 1971

Thompson, P. 'Problems of method in oral. history' in Oral History, No.4; 1975

Thompson, P. The Voice of the Past: Oral History; Oxford: Oxford University Press Opus Paperback; 1978

Tonkin, E. 'Implications of oracy: an anthropological view' in Oral History, Vol.3, No. l; 1975

Vansina, J. Oral Tradition: A study in Historical Methodology; London: Routledge and Kegan Paul; 1965

Wilkie, J.W. Elitelore, Latin American Studies, Vol.22; Los Angeles: University of California; 1973

Wilkie, J.W. 'Alternative views of history: historical sources and oral history' in Greenleaf, R.W. and Meyer, M.C. (Eds.) Research in Medical History; Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press; 1973

(b) Bibliographies

Baum, W.K. (Comp.) 'Guidebooks for oral history projects' in History News, No.35; 1980

Bornat, J. 'Women's history and oral history: an outline bibliography' in Oral History, Vol.5, No.2; 1977

Fox, J. 'Bibliography up to date' in The Oral History Review; 1977

Karady, V.G. La Litterature Oral Africaine: Bibliographie Analytique: Paris: G.-P. Maisonneuve et Larose; 1981

Schippers, D.J. 'Literature of oral history' in Starr, L. (Ed.) Proceedings of the Second National Colloquium: Oral History Association; 1968

Tonkin, E. 'Implications of oracy' in Oral History, Vol.3, No. l; 1975 (includes a useful bibliography relating to oral history, social anthropology and African history)

Turner, R. 'The contribution of oral evidence to labour history' in Oral History, Vol.4, No. l; 1976 (contains a useful bibliography relating to oral history, labour and political history)

Waserman, M.J. Bibliography on Oral History; Oral History Association; 1975

(c) Professional Journals

Canadian Oral History Association Journal; Editor: Richard Lochead, P.O. Box 301, Station "A", Case Post, OTTAWA, Ontario KIN 8V3, Canada

International Journal of Oral History; Editor-in Chief: Ronald J. Grele, Columbia University, Butler Library, Oral History Research Office, NEW YORK NY10027, USA

Oral History (Journal of the Oral History Society); Editors: Paul Thompson and Joanna Bornat, University of Essex, Sociology Department, COLCHESTER C04 3SQ, England

Sound Heritage; Editor: Charles Lillard, Provincial Archives of British Columbia, Sound and Moving Image Division, VICTORIA, British Columbia, Canada

The Oral History Association of Australia Journal; Editors: Morag Loh and Wendy Lowenstein, The Oral History Association of Australia, c/o 97 Ullapool Road, MT. PLEASANT, W.A. 6153, Australia

The Oral History Review: Editor: Arthur A. Hansen, California State University, Department of History, FULLERTON, California 92634, USA

Appendix B: Notes on contributors

Robert A. Georges

Robert Georges is Professor of English and Folklore at the University of California, Los Angeles where he has taught since 1966, following earlier academic appointments at Kansas University. He holds the degrees of Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts and received his Doctor of Philosophy from Indiana University, Indiana for which he majored in folklore, linguistics and English Romantic literature. Georges has held editorial positions on various academic periodicals, including the Journal of American Folklore, and has been an officer of a number of professional bodies, such as Chairman of the Folklore and Mythology Program at U C L A. His major publications include Studies on Mythology; Homewood, Ill.: The Dorsey Press; 1968; People Studying People: The Human Element in Fieldwork (with Michael O. Jones); Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press; 1980; and Greek-American Folk Beliefs and Narratives; New York: The Arno Press; 1980.

Pekka Gronow

Pekka Gronow studied ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn. and sociology at the University of Helsinki. His main work has been in broadcasting, cultural administration and adult education. He was one of the founders of Suomen aanitearkisto (the Finnish Institute of Recorded Sound) in 1960 and has been a Board member ever since (currently Vice-President). Gronow has published extensively on the history of the record industry in Finland and the United States, most recently in the journal Ethnomusicology and in the book Ethnic Recordings in America: a Neglected Heritage; Washington: Library of Congress, American Folklore Centre; 1982.

Mark Jones

Mark Jones graduated in English from the University of Bristol and did post-graduate research into 17th century drama at York University, where he also taught American literature. He joined the British Broadcasting Corporation in 1972, working in the fields of radio drama and sound archives, and was appointed BBC Sound Archives Librarian in 1981.

Ronald Kettle

Ronald Kettle is Curator of the British Library of Wildlife Sounds at the British Institute of Recorded Sound. He graduated in mathematics and English literature at the University of London. Kettle has lectured on wildlife and sound archives in Britain, Europe and the United States and, with Jeffrey Boswal1, has compiled wildlife sound discographies covering birds of various regions, mammals and amphibians. A life-long ornithologist, and an adult education tutor in bird study, he is also a member of the British Ornithologists' Union.

David Lance

David Lance graduated in history at the University of Leicester and did post-graduate work at Oxford and London Universities. He holds a Master degree in military history. Lance joined the Imperial War Museum in 1967 where, from 1972-83, he was Keeper of Sound Records. He is now Curator of Audio-Visual Records at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra. Lance was Secretary of the International Association of Sound Archives from 1975-81 and is IASA's current President. His main publications are The Tank: Theory and Practice 1916-1939; London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office; 1969; An Archive Approach to Oral History; London: IASA 1978; and Guidebook to Oral History Practice; Paris: UNESCO; 1961.

Vincent Phillips

Vincent Phillips joined the Welsh Folk Museum in 1957. He was appointed Keeper of the Department of Oral Traditions and Dialects in 1963 and since 1976 has been Keeper of the Oral Collections. Phillips graduated in Welsh language and literature at University College, Cardiff, holds the Diploma in Phonetics from the University of London and was awarded his Masters degree by the University of Wales for research on Welsh dialect. He has published widely on regional ethnology and Welsh dialect and, with E. Jenkins, is author of R.J. Thomas (a Welsh lexicographer) 1908-1976: Aspects of His Life and Work; Cardiff: National Museum of Wales; 1981.

Dietrich Schüller

Dietrich Schüller studied physics at the Technical University, Vienna and afterwards ethnology and ethnomusicology at the University of Vienna where he received his Doctor of Philosophy degree. He joined the Phonogrammarchiv der ~sterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften in 1961 and has been its Director since 1972. Schuller teaches phonography at the University of Vienna and has both taught and carried out fieldwork research in Austria, Upper Volta and the Sudan. President of IASA from 1975-78 he is currently a Vice-President and Chairman of the Association's Technical Committee, as well as a Committee Member of the Audio Engineering Society (Austrian Section).

Rolf Schuursma

Rolf Schuursma has been Librarian-in-Chief of Erasmus University Rotterdam since 1980. From 1970-80 he worked at the Foundation for Film and Science (Utrecht), becoming the Foundation's Acting Director, and was previously on the staff of the Historical Institute of Utrecht State University. He studied history at Utrecht and was awarded his Doctor of Philosophy degree by the State University. A founding member of the International Association of Sound Archives, he has served as the Association's Secretary, Editor and President and was also founding President of the International Association for Audio Visual Media in Historical Teaching and Education. His doctoral thesis on Dutch public opinion and the Belgian-Dutch Treaty of 1925 was published in 1975. Schuursma's publications on history and audiovisual media include documentary films on the Battle of Arnhem 1944 and the Dutch fascist leader Anton Mussert.

Roger Smither

Roger Smither joined the staff of the Imperial War Museum as a film cataloguer in 1970, after taking a degree in history at the University of Cambridge. In 1977 he was appointed Keeper of the Museum's Department of Information Retrieval. Smither is a member of the Cataloguing Committee of the International Association of Sound Archives and of the Cataloguing Commission of the International Association of Film Archives. His publications include Film Cataloguing Handbook; London; Imperial War Museum; 1977; and 'Cataloguing and indexing' in Lance, D. An Archive Approach to Oral History; London: IASA; 1978.

Tony Trebble was formerly Sound Archives Librarian at the BBC.

Leslie Waffen

Leslie Waffen holds Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees from John Carroll University, Cleveland where he specialised in American history. In a ten year career at the US National Archives in Washington he has served as Recorded Sound Archivist and he is currently in administrative charge of reference, accessioning and processing at the Motion Picture, Sound and Video Branch of the Archives. Waffen has written and lectured widely on audio visual records and has been an active member of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections since 1977, serving both as Vice-President and Executive Secretary of ARSC.

Michael Walsh

Michael Walsh graduated from the University of Sydney where he specialised in early English literature and language and classical Greek. He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in linguistics in 1976 from the Australian National University, Canberra where he became interested in the study of Australian Aboriginal languages. From 1975-81 Walsh was Linguistic Research Officer at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies and he is currently Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of Sydney. His main publications include Revised Linguistic Fieldwork Manual (with P. Sutton); Canberra: Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies; 1979; 'Recent research in Australian linguistics' in Wurm, S.A.(Ed.) Australian Linguistic Studies; Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, C-S4; 1979; and 'The lost "Macassar Language" of north Australia' (with J. Urry) in Aboriginal History, Vol 5, Nos.1-2; 1982.