Information Bulletin no. 24, January 1998

Beware Gold Diggers!

Safeguarding archival collections is usually discussed in terms of atmospheric or chemical afflictions but security must also be a prime concern, particularly when users are permitted privileged access. Inger Kielland from Norsk Rikskringkasting (NRK = Norwegian Broadcasting Company) has sent in this story, backed by the official judgement of the Oslo Court, of a recent incident which may cause many of our members to bring forward their routine stock checks and re-examine their policies for access. Inger writes:

"On 13th October, 1997, Mr Barry Anthony Sharp was convicted for violation of the Norwegian Penal Code, Section 317, paragraphs 1 & 3, and sentenced to six months' imprisonment.

In early August, 1997, Mr. Sharp phoned me from England telling me that he would like to visit the NRK Record Library, and that he intended to visit also the record libraries of Danish and Swedish Radio. He sent me a letter from a well-known BBC producer recommending Mr. Sharp as a reliable expert journalist and wishing him every success with his research project.

Mr. Sharp arrived at the NRK in the morning of 25th August and was given access to our Record Library for a five-day period. But on the 28th August, at noon, he suddenly left. We immediately discovered that along with the visitor a large number of records had disappeared, their brown envelopes having been left empty on the shelves.

We alerted the police in Oslo as well as the Danish and Swedish police, and also the Danish and Swedish broadcasting companies. Next morning, Mr. Sharp was apprehended in the Swedish Radio Record Library where he had gained access in the same way as with us. He had already made a selection of records that he had hidden on the top of shelves but had not yet brought anything out of the archive. On the following day he was transported back to Norway by the Norwegian police.

All the records missing from the NRK Record Library were found in his car in Stockholm. They have been valued as collectors' items at NOK 350,000-400,000 (corresponding to GBP 29,000-33,000).

During the Court hearing in Oslo, Mr. Sharp explained that the collection had been offered to him in early August by an unknown man in Oslo, that he had bought the records in spite of realising that they had been stolen from the Norwegian Broadcasting Company. He had contacted two Oslo shops but had not sold any of the records. (We found out from the shop owners that the prices asked were very high).

Mr. Sharp has been conducting 'research' in many countries and in many archives, not least due to his reputation as a well-known authority through the network of collectors and dealers of which the magazine Record Collector [London: Diamond] is an important part. His behaviour is convincing, even impressive. Nobody would suspect such an expert and well-known music journalist. We know that he was in Germany in the early 1990s and in Africa in May 1997. The police told us that he is suspected of theft in Dublin, but that the archive concerned had been unable to prove him guilty and had refrained from reporting him officially to the police. I am sure that we would have had the same problem if our records had not been found in his car.

We suppose that Mr. Sharp's strategy all along has been to convey the impression that somebody else is involved in the thefts from the archives he visits. But we know positively that the records were stolen during the time he spent in the NRK archives, and that no member of our staff was involved. Unlike many other archives, the NRK Record Library has strict routines for regular control of the shelves. These routines made it possible to discover immediately what had happened. Of course, we are sorry that our control routines did not then (they do now!) include the passing in and out of visitors (that we had every reason to trust).

The public prosecutor at the City of Oslo Court decided to accuse Mr. Sharp of what he had pleaded guilty of. The penalty for severe violation of Section 317 of the Penal Code is comparable but not commensurate with the penalty for theft. The police did not want to spend more time on his case, thus he was sentenced as a receiver of stolen goods instead of as a professional thief as we suspect him of being. We regret the Court's decision.

As we know that Mr. Sharp has contributed to the Record Collector and was also acknowledged by one of the readers in the September 1997 issue (p. 156) under the heading "Diggin' For Gold", I have sent a copy of the judgement to the editor Peter Dogget asking him to print, in the next issue, the story of Barry Anthony Sharp's gold digging in radio archives. I think that the record collectors throughout the world need a warning too."

Honours for Dr Leonhard

Dr Joachim-Felix Leonhard, chair and managing director of the foundation Deutsches Rundfunkarchiv Frankfurt am Main - Berlin, an institution of the Federal German Broadcasting Stations (ARD), has been appointed Honorary Professor by the President of Humboldt-University in Berlin. Dr Leonhard has for some time been a lecturer at Humboldt-University on modern history and complementary science. Originally he specialised in Italian history, specifically the history of the Italian seaport Ancona and the Marche region during the Middle Ages. This was the reason why he was given Freedom of the City of Ancona in 1992 and received the city's Golden Order of Merit. His main focus at Humboldt-University is the history of audiovisual media and communications in the 20th century and their relationships with historical-political developments and events.

Travel Grants

Members are invited to apply for travel grants for assistance to attend the Paris Conference in November.

The purposes of the travel grants are to encourage active participation at the IASA annual conferences by those who have no alternative funding and to encourage continuing participation in the work of IASA.

Individuals submitting requests are required to be currently paid-up members of IASA and willing to participate in the work of IASA. Your application will be strengthened if you can demonstrate that such participation is current or planned.

IASA Committees may also consider bringing members from less developed countries to join the conference and share their experiences.

Funding for grants is limited and they will only cover a proportion of the costs involved.

Proposals for travel grants to attend the Paris conference must be received by the Secretary General of IASA by the end of March 1998 in order to be considered at the mid-year Board meeting to be held in the following April or May. Please send your application to: IASA Secretary General, Albrecht Häfner, Südwestfunk, Sound Archives, D-76522 Baden-Baden, Germany. Fax 49 7221 92 20 94.

Research Grants

Research grants are also available to assist in carrying out specific projects and these are always open for application. Anyone planning a project which concerns the interests of IASA and which requires start-up funding or which requires financial support for work already underway is invited to apply to the Secretary General in writing (see address on page 3). Applications will be considered as and when the Board of IASA meets, so the next chance will be at its mid-year meeting in April or May and then at Annual Conference in November.

IASA Cataloguing Rules for review

The IASA Cataloguing Rules (for Audiovisual Media With Emphasis on Sound Recordings) is in preparation and due for release at the end of 1998.

This work is designed to be compatible with the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules (2nd ed.), and the International Standard Bibliographic Description (Non-Book Materials) and to be able to be used in MARC or other cataloguing systems.

It aims to address cataloguing problems, solutions and concepts in particular for content and physical description of:

a) audio formats (published, unpublished and broadcast);

b) multimedia formats (including interactive CD-Roms with audio content);

c) jukeboxes or mass storage systems; and

d) moving image formats where these are a natural extension of audio formats (e.g. music videos, musical performances on laser disc), or related to audio (e.g. FM simulcasts).

Cataloguing of a wide variety of content will be addressed, including music and literary recordings in all genres, oral histories, interviews, radio programmes, wildlife and environmental sounds, ethnographic recordings and actuality.

Emphasis on appropriate information to include for different types of content will be highlighted. In addition, options and alternatives will be presented to help archives and libraries decide on the most suitable way to match their cataloguing with the needs of their users and institutional responsibilities.

It is intended that this work will not duplicate existing standards such as the FIAF Cataloguing Rules for Film Archives (1991), or the Rules for Archival Description (Bureau of Canadian Archivists, Ottawa, Canada, 1990) but, again, will be compatible with these and will focus freshly on matters pertinent to audio visual archives and in particular sound archives.

For instance, special attention will be given to demonstrating analytic or multilevel cataloguing of individual items on published, unpublished and broadcast carriers.

A pre-publication draft will be available for comment by interested persons and organisations from January 1998. The draft will be available electronically through the IASA web site or as hard copy by request from Olle Johansson (within Europe) or Mary Miliano (outside Europe). All comments must be forwarded to Mary Miliano, e-mail

Members of the IASA Cataloguing and Documentation Committee who are on the Editorial Group to prepare this work are: Mary Miliano, National Film and Sound Archive, Australia; Elsebeth Kirring, State Media Archive, Aarhus; Daniele Branger, Bibliotheque nationale de France, Paris; Olle Johansson, Arkivet for Ljud och Bild, Stockholm; Chris Clark, The British Library National Sound Archive, London; Lasse Vihonen, Yleisradio Oy, Finland; Maria Pilar Gallego, Biblioteca Nacional, Madrid; Frank Rainer Huck, Saarlaendischer Rundfunk, Saarbruecken.

Virtual deterioration

The European Commission on Preservation and Access (ECPA) has opened a virtual exhibition on the web: A Virtual Exhibition of the Ravages of Dust, Water, Moulds, Fungi, Bookworms and other Pests.

One of the main tasks of the ECPA is to increase awareness of the need for preservation and conservation of large collections of older material. Most people, even scholars and scientists who depend on old and rare documents for their research, are not aware that a considerable part of comparatively recent documents is being threatened with irreversible decay. For them this exhibition has been made.

ECPA is asking us, as preservation experts, to look at it with a critical eye and to send them our comments and suggestions.

There are plans to expand the exhibition to include chapters on photographs and audiovisual material.

If anyone has any ideas or would like to contribute a chapter, please let ECPA know. Alternatively they could also make links to other websites.

You can visit the Virtual Exhibition at

Striking the proper balance in Amsterdam

British Library NSA Director Crispin Jewitt reports from the Conference held 30th-31st October, 1997 in Amsterdam entitled Rights, limitations and exceptions: striking a proper balance.

The conference was jointly organised by Imprimatur and IFLA. Imprimatur is a project sponsored by the European Commission. It is looking at the copyright environment appropriate to the electronic information age. The British Library is a partner, and so is the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, as well as a number of collection societies and library bodies such as EBLIDA.

This was the third of four meetings forming part of the Project, seeking to work towards a consensus on the balance of owner's rights and user's exceptions in any new legislation that comes forward to regulate intellectual property transactions in the electronic environment. A particular context was provided by the WIPO treaties of December 1996 and the forthcoming EC Draft Directive on the harmonisation of ... copyright ... in the information society.

The participants divided into four groups: publishers and collection societies were the largest, then there were libraries and end users, and computer scientists (both small groups), while the second largest group was made up of lawyers, who provided the Chairmen of the seven working groups whose aim was to reach a consensus view on a number of specific issues.

There was a witty, but not ultimately helpful, keynote address which likened the present range of exceptions to animals in a zoo (some of them bite). Then for the rest of the first day we split up into the seven working groups, each of which had the same agenda which was to try for a consensus view on such arcana as transient copying; incidental copying; caching; and browsing. We also addressed more familiar issues such as library, archive, and educational needs; and also public interest concerns and technical solutions to rights management in the digital domain.

Much of our discussion was about definitions (what does browsing actually mean?) and we didn't get very much further than statements of the differing positions on the various issues in general terms. The discussion was helped by one or two people illustrating the general points with examples and when the time seemed opportune I offered a specific exception which I said ought have general approval. This was that the needs of a national library or archive should be recognised by the exceptional right to make copies for on-site access and preservation of all published digital material in its collection (there is no such exception in UK law relating to sound recordings). Some of the other groups were more successful in reaching consensus than ours. One group drew a distinction between the needs of commercial and academic libraries on the one hand, and public libraries on the other (the former should be licensed to distribute electronic material - on unspecified terms, while it was thought that exceptions should be provided in the case of the latter - but that the results should be carefully monitored). Another group had struggled with the definition of a library - is it a place or a web site?

There next followed short addresses by representatives of WIPO, EC (DGXV), and the US Copyright Office. These were basically position papers which contributed little to the otherwise lively discussions.The last session was an open forum led by a panel of experts. There was a fair amount of discussion of the WIPO Copyright Treaty and of Articles 9-1 and 9-2 of the Berne Convention. A question was asked about moral rights on the Internet and as to whether existing exceptions should transfer to the digital environment.

Was it worth the effort and expense of attending? Yes, on balance. I didn't bring much away from it (apart from a wider understanding of some of the issues) but I feel that I made a fair contribution to the overall process, and I was glad of the opportunity to indicate that the British Library takes a measured view of the issues, unlike colleagues who sometimes seemed motivated by a hard-line freedom of information agenda.

Barry S. Brook 1918-1997

IASA Bulletin was sad to learn of the death on December 12th last year of Barry S. Brook, eminent scholar of French music, Professor Emeritus at the City University of New York, leader in the international musicological community, tireless organizer and a familiar and friendly face to those of us who attended joint IAML-IASA conferences.

News out of Denmark

Eva Fonss-Jorgensen (State Media Archive, Aarhus) reports on three recent developments in Denmark. - a project about copyright agreements in the music area for libraries. During the recent years, the State and University Library has carried out different IT projects such as JUKEBOX and Danish Audio History. Both projects have dealt with digitization and provision of network access to music and other sound recordings. The copyright aspects have been complex and comprehensive, but we have always managed to negotiate agreements so that we could carry through the projects as planned. However, all agreements have been temporary, i.e. they have only covered the project period. After each project we have had to start all over again, and the recordings digitized for the project would no longer be accessible. In the long run this is absolutely unacceptable seen from a resource point of view. Also, other aspects of music library activities have become more difficult in Denmark after the revision of the Copyright Act in 1995. The protection period for composers was prolonged to 70 years, and at the same time it was prohibited to deliver paper copies of protected scores to library users.

All these problems have united four major Danish institutions in a common project called The aim is to "achieve agreements for the use of protected works as copies (electronic and physical) in the field of music within libraries - typically sound recordings and scores". The State and University Library is coordinating the project and has made a contract with Hein Information Tools for project support. The other participants are The Royal Library in Copenhagen, Odense University Library and Danish Music Information Center (MIC). The project has its own homepage (also in English), <>.

Danish Audio History: new version. The State and University Library has opened a second version of the web project Danish Audio History which is run in collaboration with other Danish institutions. Financial support is provided by the Danish Ministry of Culture in the so-called CultureNet Denmark. Using the RealAudio format we presented last year different subjects, e.g. historical speeches by famous Danish men and women (actors and politicians), Danish dialects, and music hall recordings from 1935. Now we add other items such as music-ethnological recordings from Mongolia, Danish folk songs recorded on phonograph in 1907, songs by the famous singer Lauritz Melchior, and interviews with women from two women's liberation movements: Danish Women's Association and The Red Socks from the 1970s. See <>

New Danish Legal Deposit Act. For the first time in 70 years there has been a radical change in the Danish Legal Deposit Act. From January 1998 two copies of all published works will have to be deposited regardless of the medium or carrier. One copy will go to the State and University Library, and the other will go to the Royal Library in Copenhagen. This means that also audio-visual media are covered by the new law. In the State Media Archive we will be responsible for the collection and administration of the av-media, whereas the Royal Library will be responsible for the collection and administration of the text based media. Seen from the State Media Archive's point of view, an important effect of the definition of 'published work' is that broadcast material is NOT covered by the law.


The third annual SEAPAVAA conference will be held in Hanoi, Vietnam from the 23rd to 28th March, 1998. The Conference theme is Emerging Audiovisual Heritage: accessing the voice and vision of S. E. Asia-Pacific.

The conference programme will be diverse, with papers and presentations covering Information Technology, Cataloguing, Delivery, Preservation, Legal, Promotional, Cooperative and other aspects of this theme. Full details will be available soon on the SEAPAVAA (interim) website

Accommodation will be provided in hotels close to the conference venue, which is near the picturesque 'old quarter' of Hanoi. Depending on choice, expected cost will be in the range US$35 - 45 per night. Within easy reach are numerous restaurants (to suit any budget), historic temples, attractions like the National Museum and National Theatre, and the famous shopping streets of the old quarter. We are looking into possibilities of discount airfares to help with travel costs.

The Vietnam Film Institute, an agency of the Vietnam Ministry of Culture and Information, will host the conference and their generous provision will include:

  • a performance of the Vietnamese Water Puppets, a unique traditional art form

  • an overnight excursion by coach and boat to beautiful Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

If you wish to attend, e-mail the SEAPAVAA secretariat - - to register your interest in attending. If you wish to deliver a paper or otherwise participate in the conference presentations, contact the SEAPAVAA secretariat as above (or alternatively e-mail ).

If you have not yet visited Hanoi, let me recommend what may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Hanoi is an ancient, beautiful and friendly city, with its tree-lined streets and lakes, and its relaxed lifestyle - a striking blend of age-old ways and modernity. It is relatively small (population of 1 million) and retains a character which is still unspoiled either by tourism or rampant development. For visitors - and especially we impoverished AV archivists - it is also quite affordable. Vietnamese culture is rich and its people hospitable. In short, I am confident that Hanoi will surprise and delight you.

Ray Edmondson
President, SEAPAVAA

Multimedia webzine

From the University at Albany, New York, comes the announcement of a new journal, The Journal of Multimedia History which will "present professional scholarship that incorporates video, audio, and computer technologies. It will be published on the World Wide Web. To build on the enormous popularity of webzines such as SLATE and SALON, The Journal of Multimedia History aims to wed academic scholarship with the opportunities of the Internet in order to enliven our discipline, improve pedagogy, and expand interest in history among the general public. Scholars working in any field of history can submit 'multimedia texts' (texts that incorporate pictures, audio, and/or relevant hyperlinks). We also seek interpretive articles about historical web sites and undergraduate or graduate courses that use innovative web sites; instructors should provide commentary about their experiences with the course. Every issue will include reviews of new multimedia products, ranging from CD-ROM software to radio shows. Finally, since this is a new project, the Editorial Board encourages other types of research that might be appropriate for this new journal."

The editors are soliciting submissions for the first edition of the journal before the deadline of March 1,1998. Articles and queries should be sent via the internet, to Gerald Zahavi at or Julian Zelizer at or by mail to Editorial Board, The Journal of Multimedia, Department of History, University at Albany, Albany, New York, 12222.

Sites and sounds

Cruise the cultural cyberspaces of UNESCO's Memory of the World web site which at present include Asia, Africa and the Mediterranean area. No 'audio' as yet, but plenty of 'visual'. The site also offers Cyberwatch which will cover latest cyberspatial developments, currently restricted to a service provided in French by Radio France Internationale.

The Program for Art on Film, Inc. recently announced the launch of its newly expanded Web site, Art On Film Online.

Art on Film Online features a fully searchable version of the Program's renowned Art on Screen Database an annotated research index to more than 25,000 films, videos, and new media on the visual arts. Subjects covered in the Database include painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture, archaeology, photography, decorative arts, design, costume, and more. Access to the Database will be free during an initial introductory period. Other new Web site features include:

* Art on Screen E-News, an electronic version of the Program's Art on Screen newsletter, featuring up-to-the-minute information on international festivals and film programs, news of colleagues in the field, and reviews of new films, videos, CD-ROMs, and books.

* Web Citings, an extensive listing of Internet sites of interest to arts and media professionals, covering: film/video/media sites, art sites, artists' film/video sites, library resources, education sites, and professional societies and membership organizations.

* Other Resources, including Program for Art on Film research reports, guidelines, and articles.

Contacts: Nadine Covert, Janet Fisher, Pratt Institute Program for Art on Film Office of Public Relations

(718) 399-4206, (718) 636-3471,

Sound and film were included in the MUSEA project which has now produced its final report and added a questionnaire to its web-site. More substance is to be found in Cultural Heritage Information On-line the interim report of the project which was commissioned by the European Commission "study and investigate the standardisation issues corresponding to requirements emerging from the activities related to the storage and on-line access of the Cultural Heritage (ref. SOGITS N884)". The report has been compiled by four consultants based in the UK, Netherlands and Denmark. The purpose of the report is to look at the technical and documentation standards needed for networked cultural heritage in the EU (and internationally) to achieve inter-operability.

VideoTalk is a new web site that has been set up as a resource directory for Australian Digital Media Libraries technology. VideoTalk consists of two parts:

(i) a web-based resource directory
(ii) an internet-based discussion forum.

The compilers see the resource directory as "a dynamic growing resource which will provide technical content on a number of issues such as video standards and formats, storage technology, media servers, communication bandwidth, links to Australian Video Libraries and Archives, Australian research centres, etc. The discussion forum will provide a platform for different user groups (end users as well as R&D groups) to share common issues and research directions in the area of digital video libraries".

The VideoTalk site is now available for viewing.

You may have to alter the colours on your PC to see all of it but Rockmine will provide hours of nostalgia and fun (prizes to be won) and a considerable amount of solid information as well. Its 'Ultimate rock cyclopedia' contains 526 entries, some extensive with graphics, others minimal (e.g. "Sandy Nelson. Drums").

The American Council on Learned Societies has just announced that its recently published Occasional Paper No. 37, Information Technology in Humanities Scholarship: Achievements, Prospects, and Challenges--The United States Focus by Pamela Pavliscak, Seamus Ross, and Charles Henry is now available on-line in a hypertext version.

In the report's Preface it says that it "surveys the various applications of information technology to research in the humanities. In the course of our investigations we came across a variety of innovative research that could have a profound impact on the humanities. However, the incidence of such work is uneven, and the widespread adoption of information technology in the humanities is being hindered by a number of significant obstacles. We also examine the challenges that must be overcome if such applications are to become the norm among scholars." The report concludes with a useful list of links to exemplary projects and services An expanded version of this report will be available later this year on the American Arts & Letters Network.

IASA Directory and Leaflet

The IASA Directory 1998 is in preparation and is expected to be ready to send to members (free of charge) along with the April issue of the IASA Bulletin.

I will also be receiving very soon from printers in London copies of the new, re-designed, tri-lingual IASA promotional leaflet. These will be held and distributed centrally by Magdalene Cséve, Hungarian Radio, Documentation, Bródy Sandor u.5-7, H-1800 Budapest, Hungary, Fax 36 1 328 8310. Please contact Magdalene if you would like a small supply for your institution.

Calendar of events

Date Event Location
Mar 13-14 FIAT Executive Council Meeting Lisbon
Mar "late" Round Table of Audiovisual Records
Mar 23-28 SEAPAVAA Annual Conference Hanoi
Apr 21-26 FIAF Annual Congress Prague
Apr/May IASA mid-year Board meeting London
May ARSC General Conference Syracuse, NY
May 16 - 19 AES Convention Amsterdam
June 14-18 X International Oral History Conference Rio De Janeiro
Jul 20-24 Institute of Paper Conservation & Society of Archivists conference: Care of photographic, moving image and sound collections York, UK
Aug IFLA Council and General Conference Amsterdam
Aug 31 - Sep 4 "KnowRight 98": XV IFIP World Computer Conference/ 2nd International Conference on intellectual property rights & free flow of information Budapest
Sep 26 - 29 AES Convention San Francisco
Sep 27 - Oct 1 FIAT Conference & General Assembly Florence
November 15 - 20 IASA Annual Conference Paris
November FIAF Executive Committee San Juan, Puerto Rico
March SEAPAVAA Annual Conference Kuala Lumpur
April FIAF Annual Congress Madrid
August IFLA Council and General Conference Bangkok
September IASA Annual Conference Vienna
November FIAF Executive Committee Toulouse
April FIAF Annual Conference London
August IFLA Council and General Conference Jersusalem
November FIAF Executive Committee New York

This Information Bulletin was compiled by:

The Editor of IASA, Chris Clark,
The British Library National Sound Archive, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB, UK,
tel. 44 171 412 7411, fax 44 171 412 7413, e-mail,

Elsebeth Kirring, Statsbiblioteket, Universitetsparken, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark,
tel. 45 8946 2055, fax 45 8946 2050, e-mail

Printed in Budapest, Hungary

In particular, you are urged to notify IASA (via this Bulletin, or via the Secretary General) of any changes to the contact details printed in the current IASA Directory.