Information Bulletin no. 38, July 2001

New Members

A.E.P.I.S.A. (Hellenic Society for the Protection of Intellectual Rights)
Archive of Greek Music,
51 Samou Street & Frangoklisias, 151 25 Amarousio, Athens, Greece
IASA's first member in Greece, the Archive of Greek Music aims to collect all Greek sound recordings of all types since recording began. At present the archive holds 50,000 discs but also collects video and other formats. The contact is Sotiris Lycouropoulos.

Gaboikanngwe Maphakwane. P/bag 00390 University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana
This university department receives legal deposit of all multimedia items and these are used for teaching and research. The collection currently numbers 50 LPs, 400 CDs, 200 audiocassettes, 600 videos and more than 2000 audio files on diskette.

GLS Studios GmbH (associate), Tegernsee Landstrasse 161, D-81537, Munich, Germa

Simon Squire (associate). 148 Clarendon Park Road, Leicester LE2 3AF
Carrying out research into the history and development of the sound recording medium and its technique.

Stoney Moses Mubiana. Namibian Broadcasting Company Music Library, PO Box 321, Namibia
The Namibian Broadcasting Company (NBC) Music Library collects recorded music on all formats and preserves it for broadcasting and for use in films. Sound effects are an important feature.

Strahlenland Records GmbH (associate), Thonwerstr. 4, 53501 Graftschaft, Germany

ARSC-IASA Conference in London

There is still time to register for this year's conference in London at The British Library, September 23-27th, but you will need to be quick if you are keen to go on any of the professional visits as the numbers in each party are restricted. Visits that have been arranged include the BBC Sound Archive Preservation Project, The EMI Sound Archive, The audio collections of the Imperial War Museum, BBC Sound Archives at Broadcasting House.

Full conference details including the registration form and programme are at []

Val Napthine 1929-2001

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation's first Radio Archivist Val Napthine died in June of an aneurysm. Val was a "founding mother" of IASA Australia when, back in 1979, David Lance helped the Australian branch of IAML establish an Australian audio-visual association. IASA Australia has since become the Australasian Sound Recordings Association (ASRA), serving the needs of professionals and amateur collectors alike in Australia and New Zealand.

Val Napthine was born in 1929, in Marrickville, Sydney. She left school at the age of 15, and, after secretarial college, joined the Australian Broadcasting Commission (as it was known then) on 5 March 1945 as a junior typist and "runner" for the Overseas Department of the ABC. Val recalled with admiration the high standards of professionalism she encountered in her early days at the ABC, especially those women who headed departments and worked as producers during the war years.

Her passion for the ABC had begun earlier than that, however. She loved to say that she and the ABC were about the same age ABC was 'born' on 1 July 1932. Her father Reg was a violinist and played in theatre orchestras and string quartets. Val remembered a home atmosphere of music and laughter where music and the ABC were ever-present but also of stress and anxiety; the Depression years were particularly severe for musicians.

Val moved around the ABC over the following years working for the Talks Department, being part of the ABC's 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games team. A few months into her TV assignment, Val and her father were involved in a very serious car accident. She suffered bad neck injuries that caused her pain for the rest of her life. On her return to work, she decided to go back to radio.

She was sent to the Federal Transcription Department, as second-in-command. She arrived on a Monday and on the following Friday the Head of the Department called her into his office and told her that now she had had her training she was in charge as he was off to another department. She had to oversee staff, and organise the receipt and handling of program tapes for radio broadcasts.

Needing a break, she left for London for four-and-a-half months of Long Service and unpaid leave. She registered with an Employment Agency as a typist, going, as she said, to "all sorts of strange places", while travelling around sight-seeing in the UK and Europe. The BBC asked her to work in their Transcriptions Section and she stayed for a year gaining experience in program production and recording standards. She was offered program-making jobs in the BBC but had to decline as she needed to return home because of her mother's ill-health.

She returned to Sydney in 1962, but was disappointed to find that the ABC was not particularly interested in the work she had done with the BBC. Then she received a phone call from a senior manager, informing her that a member of Federal Parliament had raised the issue of old historical recordings seen "lying around" and being destroyed "by neglect". The report caused a great stir. Document and television archives existed but nothing was being done about recordings for radio at ABC.

Val first considered the task of setting up an ABC archive impossible but she finally agreed to 'give it a go' insisting on a "get-out" clause after 12 months if it didn't work out. ABC management had no vision, no money and no idea of how it should be organised. She searched department cupboards for material, and gathered together a small collection in the Transcriptions Department. Acetate discs had already deteriorated. There was mould everywhere. She required technical operator assistance to reclaim these discs and transfer them to analogue tape.

Val was working in the dark as there was no other sound archive in existence in Australia at that time. Peter Burgis, the sound librarian at the National Library of Australia, had his own private collection in a corner of the National Library, but he was neither an archivist nor a program-maker. She therefore contacted the BBC Radio Archives for advice.

Val set up in a little room with a technician and began listing and copying the transcription discs. This 'Dark Ages' collection, now catalogued as a result of funding for which Val fought assiduously in the early 1980s, contains some of the present-day Radio Archives' most treasured material - material that, without Val Napthine would be lost to the ABC and the Australian people.

Val was also establishing international connections. She travelled to New York and Brussels for IASA conferences. She had also established an highly-respected reputation throughout Australia. Colleagues in Australia and abroad were deeply saddened by the news of her death. James McCarthy and Pru Niedorf, fellow founders of IASA Australia, remember Val fondly and IASA's archivist, Ulf Scharlau, remembers Val's heart-warming laugh most clearly:

"The first time we met was in 1982 at the IASA meeting in Brussels. She was accompanied by Peter Burgis who became a member of our Board at that time. After the conference she and Jim Sullivan, Radio Archivist from New Zealand, travelled through Europe in order to visit as many radio archives as possible in the time they could spend. With her bright and kind humour she at once got contacts and found friends."

Ulf invited Val and Jim to visit Stuttgart and a grand time was had by all during a very hot July for which Val was completely unprepared: she had packed her winter clothing for the trip. She and Ulf met just once or twice again at later IASA conferences.

In her younger years Val had been engaged, but her fiancé was killed in New Guinea during the Second World War. She eventually married in 1978 and then left the ABC in 1985 for health reasons, settling down with her beloved Jim in Moss Vale in the southern highlands of New South Wales.

A former colleague, rural broadcaster Colin Munro remembers her as "a tall elegant woman with her mouth open to laugh", for her graciousness and superb sense of humour and for her total professionalism and knowledge of radio and the requirements of program-makers. Val set the standards for those ABC archivists that followed her.

John Spence & Jean Walker

ABC Radio Archives

Ray Edmondson retires

One of the founding fathers of Australian audio-visual archiving, Ray Edmondson, Deputy Director of the National Screen and Sound Archive retired in April this year. He was bid farewell by past and present members of the Archive's Interim Council, staff and colleagues from the film, broadcasting and sound community at a special dinner.

Director Ron Brent and television producer and former Council member Peter Luck, among others, recounted Ray's 33-year career, recalling his role in the establishment of the National Film and Sound Archive in 1984.

Council Chair Susan Oliver said that it was Mr Edmondson who wrote the influential report, Time in our hands, that became the blueprint for the development of the Archive after 1984 : 'His work on archival philosophy and professional ethics is internationally recognised,' Ms Oliver said. 'It has set the highest standards for his colleagues and the industry and has helped position the Archive as a widely respected Australian cultural institution that is a world leader in audio-visual archiving.'

Ray Edmondson joined the National Library in 1968 as its film reference librarian, but was soon heavily involved in film acquisition in the Library's Historical Film Collection. In 1973, an Australian Film and Television School fellowship saw him on a tour studying film archives in England, Europe and North America.

The report he wrote, and the recommendations he made, had far reaching consequences. In 1984, the Hawke Government set up the National Film and Sound Archive, which has grown to become a world-leader in audio-visual archiving.

Ray conceived and directed The Last Film Search (1981) and Operation Newsreel (1988), projects that became international benchmarks for film archives. More recently, his advocacy of formal professional education for audio-visual archivists led to an internet-delivered distance-learning course, the only one of its kind in the world, now offered by the Archive in conjunction with Charles Sturt University. This is an involvement Ray will continue, along with other international commitments including his Presidency of the South East Asia/ Pacific Audiovisual Archive Association (SEAPAVAA).

Ron Brent and former Council member, film producer Anthony Buckley, presented Ray with a plaque bestowing on him the title "Curator Emeritus" of the Archive.

Mr Edmondson said he was delighted to accept the honorary post. He said he was not really retiring and will still be part of the Archive's community.

National Screen and Sound Archive

Since there has been some confusion about the current name of what used to be called the National Film and Sound Archive, Australia (NFSA) the present Director Ron Brent has provided this clarification:

The formal name of the organisation is the National Screen and Sound Archive. This name contains the two important descriptors of the organisation, namely National and Archive, and this is what appears in our logo.

We also have a new marketing brand name and logo of ScreenSound Australia, a contraction of the formal name. This is the first step in a long-term effort to increase recognition of our work to a wider audience than our traditional supporters (such as into educational markets). It replaces the previous shorthand for our organisation, namely NFSA.

Gerry Gibson retires

Gerry Gibson retired from the Library of Congress in June. An appreciation of his work for that organisation and for IASA (he served on the IASA Board in various capacities, including President 1990 - 1993) will appear in Information Bulletin no.39.

European collaboration launched by SLBA

Sven Allerstrand writes:

"The Swedish National Archive of Recorded Sound and Moving Images (SLBA, formerly ALB) organized in Stockholm 8-9 June, as an event under the Swedish EU Presidency, a two-day seminar entitled Safeguarding the European Audiovisual Heritage working together. The idea was to explore the interest in building a European network of national institutions to preserve and provide access to the European cultural heritage of sound and moving images.

Invited to this seminar were directors of national sound and audio-visual collections in each of the EU countries and in the applicant states. Experts in different fields and representatives of organisations like FIAT and IASA, were also invited to give presentations and to contribute to the discussion. All in all, there were 27 participants from 13 countries.

The first day was devoted to the present situation: what is preserved and what is accessible, technical issues and some examples of existing European co-operation. On the second day there were presentations on structural, technical and legal conditions for co-operation. At the concluding session those who wanted to actively take part in future co-operation discussed a draft Statement of intent by European national media archives on strategic co-operation. In this document, which was prepared by Crispin Jewitt, The British Library National Sound Archive and IASA President, six areas of interest were identified and a structure for the future work of the group was proposed. A revised draft of this 'Stockholm Statement' will be presented, and I hope, signed in London in September, at which time a more detailed report will be given to the IASA membership."

Sino-Austrian Joint Field Excursion 2001

Dietrich Schüller (Vienna Phonogrammarchiv) has sent in this report:

Following the example of the successful Joint Field Excursion 1998 to Inner Mongolia, Qinghai and Gansu (cf. IASA Information Bulletin no.27), the Music Research Institute (MRI), Beijing, and the Vienna Phonogrammarchiv again joined forces to record the music of national minorities of the Peoples Republic of China. On this occasion the traditional music of the Li and Miao peoples of the Island Hainan in the south of China was the subject of our joint fieldwork excursion that took place between 30 January and 11 February 2001. Professor Qiao Jianzhong, director of MRI, Xiao Mei, senior researcher, both from Beijing, and Dietrich Schüller from Vienna, recorded a total of 16 hours of sound on DAT, and 4 hours on digital video (DV-format). Also on the team this time was Barbara Schüller, who captured the excursion on video. This was a good opportunity to test the various birthday donations to the Phonogrammarchiv under tropical conditions, namely a TASCAM DA-P1 portable DAT-recorder, a SCHOEPS MSTC 6 stereo microphone, and an AGK Blue Line ORTF microphone set (cf. IASA Information Bulletin no. 32). Given the sensitivity of most recording equipment to unfriendly climate conditions, all our equipment worked perfectly.

The excursion enjoyed the active support of local cultural authorities and specialists, and also attracted the interest of regional mass media. The publication of a selection of the field recordings on CD as a further joint project is being planned.

SEAPAVAA in Bangkok

This year's Annual SEAPAVAA Conference and General Assembly will be held in Bangkok, Thailand from 16-20 July 2001. The Conference will adopt the theme "Ethics, Values and Standards: Building Blocks of AV Archiving". Among the topics to be discussed are the following:

  • The Need for Ethics, Values and Standards for AV Archiving

  • The Philosophy and Code of Ethics: International and Regional Perspectives

  • Considerations in Developing Values and Ethics for Professional Conduct

The Public Relations Department of Thailand will host this year's Conference with assistance from the National Film Archive of Thailand. Delegates will be billeted at the Arnoma Hotel located at the centre of downtown Bangkok. A special rate of US$55 per night, inclusive of breakfast has been negotiated. Conference registration fee is US$120 inclusive.

You can download the registration form and other conference details at the SEAPAVAA website:

For further information, please contact the Ms. Belina SB. Capul, SEAPAVAA Secretary-General, or

MOW in Korea

Kurt Deggeller reports: The Fifth Meeting of the Memory of the World Programme International Advisory Committee took place June 27-29 in Cheongju City. It was hosted by the Korean UNESCO Commission. A total of thirteen members of the International Advisory Committee (IAC) and thirty-two observers and representatives of non-governmental organisations were in attendance.

The aim of the Memory of the World programme is to establish a register of the world's documentary heritage and to organise pilot projects to improve access to the documents.

The IAC considered forty-two nomination proposals received from twenty-three countries and recommended to the Director General that half of these proposals (twenty-one) be added to the Memory of the World register.

Only two proposals came from the audio-visual area: the negative of the restored and reconstructed version of Fritz Lang's motion picture Metropolis and the historical collections of St. Petersburg Phonogram Archives (the Phonogram Archives of Berlin and Vienna had already been put on the register in a previous session). Other proposals relating to our field were not adopted. It is important that the audio-visual NGOs (IASA, FIAF and FIAT) promote more and better-prepared proposals in for the next meeting in two years.


Further developments and publications relating to the Harmony project, as introduced to IASA by Jane Hunter at the Singapore Conference last year and in the IASA Journal no.16, can be found at

Jane wrote in to say of this list of publications: "The community of audio-visual archivists may be interested in either of the first two on the list: both are multimedia focussed

J. Hunter, S. Little, "Building and Indexing a Distributed Multimedia Presentation Archive using SMIL" , accepted ECDL '01, Darmstadt, September 2001
J. Hunter, C. Lagoze, "Combining RDF and XML Schemas to Enhance Interoperability Between Metadata Application Profiles" , WWW10, Hong Kong, May 2001

Jane has also recently published Adding Multimedia to the Semantic Web - Building an MPEG-7 Ontology, and of course it's on the web at


Anyone with an interest in the delivery of music over the web should consider making their way to Florence in November to attend the first International Conference on Web Delivering [sic] of Music, WEDELMUSIC2001, Florence, Italy, 23rd - 24th November 2001

Topics to be covered include: XML format of music, protection aspects, transaction models, Digital rights management (DRM), databases for music archives and digital collections, tools for music distribution, mp3, wave, multimedia tools for music tuition, analysis, transposition, watermarking, Braille music, copyright protection, music education, audio and music sheet digitalisation.

Patronised by IEEE CS TC on Computer Generated Music and sponsored by IST, the European Commission, University of Florence, DSI, Fraunhofer Institute, IRCAM, SUVINI ZERBONI, RICORDI, CESVIT, SVB-FNB, ILSP, ARTEC, SMF, further details and registration can be found at or contact

e-Director for British Library

The British Library has appointed its first e-Director as part of a wider restructuring of its top tier of management. The appointment of Dr Herbert Van de Sompel as Director of e-Strategy and Programmes was announced at the end of June and he will join the Library on 1 September 2001. He will be the driving force behind the development of the British Library's e-strategy, pushing forward the role of electronic media and services in providing public access, opening up collections, creating productive partnerships with the library and scholarly network and developing new enterprises.

Dr Van de Sompel joins the Library having spent the past year as Visiting Professor of Computer Science at Cornell University. For 17 years he was head of the library automation department at the University of Ghent, Belgium where he led an ambitious programme to create an outstanding electronic library and planned and implemented a range of innovative services. More recently he worked at the renowned Research Library at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, on a PhD focusing on open reference linking (OpenURL and SFX) and the Open Archives Initiative (OAI). This experience may have profound significance for the development of collaborative initiatives involving audio-visual and multimedia content.

Other senior appointments made at this level recently and that will impact on the work of the National Sound Archive include Dr. Clive Field (Director of Scholarship and Collections) and Natalie Ceeney (Director of Operations and Services). Further details of all of these appointments will be found at the Information/News page of

BnF and INA to archive French web

The French government has adopted a law that requires every French web page to be archived, a requirement similar to the legal deposit procedures for traditional media.

In principle, every site-publisher would be responsible for this task, but for technical reasons the law allows the French national library, Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF), and the Institut National de l'Audio-visuel (INA) to garner the entire French web, including personal home pages, at regular intervals.

It is not yet clear how the French web is defined: does it include only web pages which are physically stored on French territory, or does it consist of pages which belong to French citizens?

There are also technical problems to be solved. Archiving HTML-pages is simple, but the storing of streaming ingredients and Flash-animated and other dynamic sites still requires a lot of research before it can be carried out.

Ina estimates that about 100,000 sites have to be archived. Publishers appear to have no problem with this initiative, according to Ina In fact, in many cases they will not be aware of it, which raises questions about whether privacy rights will be infringed.

The Swedish Royal Library was the first national library to try this approach starting in 1996. The project - called Kulturarw3 - was described in a lecture last year by Allan Arvidson, Krister Persson and Johan Mannerheim at an IFLA conference:

This project has unfortunately been put on hold. For copyright reasons it might not be continued. The future of this whole strategy seems very uncertain.

Source for France:
Source for Sweden: e-mail from Karl-Erik Tallmo to

Sites and sounds

The BBC's website is regarded by many as exemplary, always developing, full of quality content and delights, among which is the recent addition of Radio 4's 'listen again service' Radio 4 is the BBC's main outlet for speech programmes. The bulk of the day's programming is available but comedy and drama productions are excluded for rights reasons. Access requires RealPlayer.

The capabilities of the web are astounding even after such a relatively short history. Musicians in the IASA membership, or even if those who just like playing around with sounds, will enjoy the delights of This turns your keyboard into a musical instrument, each key activating a pre-recorded sample. You can assemble the samples into music of different styles, world music, jazz (nice guitar breaks), rap, etc. and the sounds generate images on your screen that you can manipulate to produce some decent artwork. The jazz number, for instance, enables you to design a cool 1960s Blue Note style album cover. Expect complaints from the neighbours and the rest of the family. Sound systems of this kind ought to be considered worthy acquisitions by IASA member archives.

New IASA leaflet in preparation

In view of recent changes to IASA's committee structure, a new trilingual leaflet has been prepared and will be available in time for the London conference. Single copies will be distributed with the next Information Bulletin mailing in September. Please contact the Editor if you would like more copies.


Please remember to keep the Editor informed of any changes to the details that appear in the current IASA Directory.

Calendar of events

Date Event Location
July 8 - 14 IAML Annual Conference Périgueux, France
August 16 -25 67th IFLA Council and General Conference
Libraries and Librarians: Making a Difference in the Knowledge Age
Boston, U.S.
September 4 - 7 Society of Archivists Annual Conference
Safeguarding our culture
Aberystwyth, Wales
September 21 - 24 111th AES Convention New York
September 23 - 27 ARSC/IASA Annual Conference
Why collect: the purpose of audio-visual archives
September 23 - 27 FIAT Annual Conference London
October 5 - 7 20th AES International Conference
Archiving, restoration & new methods of recording
November 6 - 11 11th AMIA Conference Portland, U.S.
November 23 - 24 WEDELMUSIC 2001: web delivery of music Florence, Italy
November 19 - 24 International seminar and workshops on sound and TV preservation (in association with IASA and FIAT) Mexico
May 11 - 12 112th AES Convention Munich
August 4 - 9 IAML Annual Conference Berkeley, U.S.
August 18 - 24 68th IFLA Council and General Conference
Libraries for life
Glasgow, U.K.
September 15 - 19 IASA Annual Conference Aarhus, Denmark
October 5 - 8 113th AES Convention Los Angeles, U.S.
October 25 - 28 Society of Ethnomusicology Annual Meeting Detroit, U.S.
November 19 - 23 AMIA Conference Boston, U.S.
July 6 - 11 IAML Conference Tallinn, Estonia
August 1 - 9 69th IFLA Council and General Conference
Access point library
November 18 - 22 AMIA Conference Vancouver, Canada
November 9 - 13 AMIA Conference Minneapolis, U.S.

This Information Bulletin has been compiled by

The Editor of IASA, Chris Clark,
The British Library National Sound Archive, 96 Euston Road, London NW1 2DB, UK,
tel. 44 (0)20 7412 7411, fax 44 (0)20 7412 7413, e-mail

© International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA)