Information Bulletin no. 52, April 2005

IASA Conference 2005, Barcelona

The IASA Conference 2005 will take place in Barcelona, Spain, from 11 to 15 September. It is being organised by the Biblioteca de Catalunya in collaboration with the Spanish and Andorran members of IASA (Biblioteca Nacional Española, ERESBIL, Lluís Úbeda and Arxiu Històric Nacional d'Andorra). As most of you already know from the information published in both the IASALIST and this Bulletin, we will focus the conference on the motto "Archives speak: Who listens?". The aim is to reinforce communication between the offers and demands of sound and audiovisual archives. The conference venue is the Institute of Catalan Studies, a magnificent 17th century building attached to the civil gothic structure of the former Hospital de la Santa Creu (Holy Cross Hospital), where the Biblioteca de Catalunya building is situated.

Barcelona is a typical Mediterranean city with more than 2000 years of history - history that is readily found in the area surrounding the conference venue: from traces of Roman occupation to the Contemporary Art Museum, through civil Gothic and Modernist architecture. With a population approaching two million, Barcelona is the second biggest city in Spain after the capital, Madrid. Although in Catalonia the Spanish and Catalan languages are co-official, the city centre Raval quarter offers a multicultural society ranging from the increasing numbers of immigrants to a wealthy population of artists and liberal professionals. The city is surrounded by seven small mountains to the west, the Mediterranean sea and beaches to the east, the Besòs River to the north, and the Llobregat River to the South. This gives Barcelona a very special micro-climate, which we expect to be warm (or not too hot, at least) by the time of our conference. Although 11th September is remembered world wide as the date of the New York Twin Towers attack, it coincides with the Catalan National Day, and those of you who are there on the Sunday will find peaceful demonstrations on the streets and Catalan flags on the balconies. We hope you experience it as a nice way to be welcomed.

See you in Barcelona! And do visit the conference web site at

Travel grants for IASA members

IASA's policy is to encourage members to apply for travel grants to enable their attendance at the annual conference. Normally, 50% of travel costs (cheapest standard class return air or train fare between the applicant's home and the conference venue) will be met. These grants are made subject to the Association's financial status, and applications will be prioritised according to the following factors:

  1. Applicants who will present a paper to the annual conference will be given higher priority / will have a better chance to receive a travel grant than applicants who will not give a paper.

  2. IASA may, in addition, approach the local conference organiser and request that the grantee's registration fee be waived. The decision in each case will be up to the conference organiser.

  3. Applications must be sent in writing (by letter, fax or e-mail) to the Secretary-General in response to the announcement of travel grants as published in the IASA Information Bulletin and on the IASA List-Serv. Applications must contain the 100% amount of the travel costs in US$ or Euro, confirmed e.g. by an official travel agency.

  4. Applications by representatives of institutional members must be countersigned by the director or a senior officer of their organisation as evidence that their attendance has been authorised.

  5. Accommodation and subsistence costs will not be supported.

  6. IASA will not pay grants in advance of travel.

  7. The Secretary-General will check all applications received by the appointed deadline and will submit them to the Executive Board for discussion and approval.

  8. Applicants will be informed as soon as possible of the result after the Board's decision has been reached.

Costs will be reimbursed on presentation of copies of the travel documents by the grantee to the IASA Treasurer during the conference. Otherwise, payment will be effected after the conference, and the method of payment shall be specified in the application including to whom monies shall be paid and how they will be made.

IASA travel grants are determined for members only; accompanying persons are not eligible.

The deadline for application for travel grants to go to the IASA Conference in Barcelona, 11- 15 September 2005, is 31 May 2005. Please complete the Travel Grant application form.

New Members

Claire Marsh, The Library, Leeds College of Music, 3 Quarry Hill, Leeds LS2 7PD. The Library holds a substantial collection of jazz materials. Audio items include: more than 6000 LPs; more than 1000 78s; Approximately 5,000 hours of recordings of Duke Ellington on reel-to-reel tape (some of which have never been made available commercially); plus other items on reel-to-reel, cassette, VHS and Betamax. The collection was created to support the college\'s BA Jazz course, but it is also available to other researchers.

Brandon Burke, Hoover Institution Archives, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6010, USA. The Hoover Institution Archives counts among its holdings the complete recordings of the commonwealth Club of California and the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Collection; the latter of which is some 80,000 tapes in size. The Archives hired an audio specialist in October of 2004 and is in the process of building an audio preservation lab.

Delmas Hervé, App 120, 35 place des tiercerettes, 031000 TOULOUSE France. Delmas is a sound engineer, who restored magnetic tape for the joint Southern Cultural Center (FAMDT) / B.N.F. His experience is needed in an archives in Dakar Sénégal and he would like to exchange knowledge, ideas and more...

Laurel Sercombe, University of Washington, Ethnomusicology Archives Box 353450, Seattle, WA 98195, U.S. Laurel is the archivist for the sound/AV collection in the Ethnomusicology Archives in the School of Music at the University of Washington (Seattle, Washington)

Chris Clark, 7 Purbeck Road, Chatham, Kent, ME4 6ED, UK., who now joins IASA as a full individual member.

Prof. Daniel Leech-Wilkinson, Department of Music, King\'s College, Strand, London WC2R 2LS, UK. Daniel is an Associate Director of the Centre for the History and Analysis of Recorded Music (CHARM), a five-year collaboration between Royal Holloway, King\'s College, and Sheffield University. See His own research concerns the perception of musical performance documented on recordings. He is the member of staff at King\'s College responsible for the King\'s Sound Archive, a collection of 150,000 78rpm discs donated by the BBC --

Ebrahim Kassa, Addis Ababa University, P.O.Box 1176, IES, AAU, Addis Ababa Ethiopia. The Institute of Ethiopian Studies has been working as a leading research institute at the Addis Ababa University. As one of its duties it organizes multimedia documents such as video, audio, photo's and slides. They have more than 2000 unpublished field sound recordings. They have started to digitise their collections and would like to share ideas and experiences among similar institutions.

Marisa Harris, 25 Wirilda St, Rivett ACT 2611, Australia. Marisa works as a Curator in the Collections Management Unit of the AIATSIS Audiovisual Archives (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies).

Richard Billeaud, 170 Route de Versailles, 91160 Champlan, France. Richard does archival consulting in film, audiovisual and sound production and preservation.

New Price of TC-04 Guidelines

Due to the high level of bank charges associated with the sale of IASA publications, the IASA Board has found it necessary to increase the price of the IASA TC-04 Guidelines on the Production and Preservation of Digital Objects, edited by Kevin Bradley, ISBN 8799030918 from 25 Euro to 35 Euro per copy, excluding postage fees. An additional 5 Euro per copy will be charged for postage.

This price change is applicable from 15 April 2005.

Guidelines for Translation of IASA publications

Due to the growing interest to translate IASA publications into other languages, the IASA Executive Board approved the following guidelines for translations of IASA publications.

IASA publications are normally published in English. However, in order to spread the publications to a wider audience, IASA allows translations to be made in accordance with the following guidelines:

  1. Translation shall always be approved by the IASA Executive Board before the translation work starts.

  2. The translation shall be an accurate rendering of the original English as used in the work.

  3. No additional text shall be inserted in or appended to the translated version.

  4. The typographic layout and cover artwork of the translated publication shall be consistent with the IASA visual identity as presented on its current publications.

  5. The IASA Executive Board will have the right of approval for the translated text of the work, and also for the cover art work of the translated version.

  6. The distribution / selling of translated IASA publications must always be subject to negotiation with / approval by the IASA Executive Board.

These guidelines have been approved by the IASA Executive Board March 10, 2005.

BIRTH - an EU funded project

The BIRTH project (Building of an Interactive Research and Delivery Network for Television Heritage) is an EU funded so called "pilot project" within the MEDIA+ programme ( and established a multimedia, multilingual webportal giving access to audiovisual and textual material on the early days of European television.

The legacy of 50 and more years of regular broadcasting in Europe is enormous in quantity as well as in quality. With the making available of at least a part of it via the BIRTH webportal, users will be get access to an important part of their own personal history. The European angle makes the approach even more tempting for academics and the general public.

So our idea was to create an entry point into the magnificent world of audiovisual testimonies we keep in our archives. The basic idea of BIRTH is to set up a long living platform that serves as an information point for the interested user and as forum for scientific exchange. Thus BIRTH can be seen as a B2C and B2P orientated project.

The project consortium

The consortium includes Joanneum Research (A) as the project manager, the TV archives of BBC (UK), ORF (A), RTBF (B) and SWR (Ger) and the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision as content providing partners. Noterik (NL) is our technical partner. BIRTH started on January 1st, 2003 and is a three year project. Basic information about the partners and the project workplan can be found at our interim webpage During a first presentation on the project webportal during the FIAT/ IFTA World Conference in Paris ( in October this year the positive feedback from several representatives of the audiovisual archive sector showed that the number of contributing organisations and individuals will soon increase.

User Groups Survey

One main task at the beginning of the project was to define the future user groups of the BIRTH webservice in order to shape our offer according to their needs. Three user groups were defined: a) general public, b) academic world and c) professional users. A user group survey was undertaken and about 200 subjects were asked to fill out a comprehensive questionnaire.

The results showed that the three user groups do have very specific expectations towards the future BIRTH website. These results were published in two project delivery papers: "Preliminary Specification User-Requirements" and "Final Specification User-Requirements".

The following overview gives you an idea about what the expectations of the user groups are:

Public Expectations
The concept and nature of the BIRTH website drew a lot of interest from the public, often giving rise to what they would like to see and the possible functionalities.

  • Accurate and reliable information

  • Efficiency in access and download.

  • Access to rights information

  • Ability to switch between text based searching and keyframes

  • Sufficient quality of picture to make judgements and see timecode

  • Moderation and registration acceptable

  • Shopping basket and cutting tool

Academic Expectations
The academic group's expectations were more focused around what the site could offer from an educational perspective.

  • Timeline oriented and searchable

  • View content online

  • Save items or references to them

  • Shopping basket functionality

  • Description of visual content

  • Fun element like quizzes and games

  • Newsgroup or chat rooms on early television

  • Opportunity to provide feedback on content

Professional Expectations
This group was very clear about what they expected from the website. Their interests related directly to how the site could improve on and enhance their needs.

  • A source of reliable information

  • Inclusion of content into course work for students.

  • Contribute articles

  • Moderate newsgroups

  • Possibly accept some fees for enhanced services and content

  • Not keen on advertising to sustain website.

  • Willing to register to enter the site.

We will try to satisfy most of these needs when setting up our web service. The main focus of the BIRTH site will be to meet the information of an interested general public, and the exchange of ideas and research of the academic world. We want to offer furthermore an overview over the (programme) history of the contributing partners for professionals.

KBAs Knowledge Based Articles
Users will find audiovisual content on the webportal as well as scientific articles on various aspects of the European broadcasting history. These so called "Knowledge Based Articles" will cover the following topics:

  • The technical challenges behind the first broadcast

  • Behind the scenes: production of early television

  • Major technical developments (towards colour TV)

  • The history of broadcast archives

  • Eurovision broadcasts: the European angle (exchanges)

  • Government influence in the first era of television

  • Politics adopting early TV (how politicians learned to live with/ to use TV)

  • Taboos in early TV (controversial TV and censorship)

  • The early stars of the television screen, (where did they come from? Which background?)

  • Impact of TV on radio, cinema and other media

  • For kids only: children's programmes

  • The era of television plays

  • Music programmes in early TV

  • The Treasure Hunt: Lost and found treasures from the archives

  • Bringing the daily news & weather into the homes of millions

  • Major dates in your early TV's history

These articles are ideal for stimulating the cooperation between the content producers and the scientific community. In Austria for example students and teachers from the Institute for Communication Science at the University of Vienna will produce texts for the BIRTH portal and thus will have a new digital platform for publication at their service.

Under the lead of representatives of the Utrecht University (NL) an European academic network dealing with TV history has been called into life in October 2004. For the moment academics from Austria, UK, Belgium, France and the Netherlands have joined the network. It's a European network of academics and institutes who are active in the field of European television history. The network provides a platform for individuals and institutions to exchange experiences and research data. The goal is to link the various European research activities in the field of television history. However, we invite all others academics working in the fields of TV and/or Communication, History studies to join the network. (for information, also about a plannend workshop on TV history in early 2005, please contact Prof Sonja de Leeuw, email: or Dr Andreas Fickers, email:

As multilinguality is one key feature in the project structure all the KBAs will be available in the native language of the author and in English. The same approach is used for setting up a thesaurus used for cataloguing and searching of/in the BIRTH metadata. The Thesaurus Tool programmed by Joanneum Research offers language versions in English, German, French and Dutch.

The audiovisual content
As mentioned above, audiovisual archives hold the memory of the last five decades at least. For a long time forgotten or neglected by historical sciences, television has become the mass medium of the second half of the 20th century. Thus the content delivery partner will contribute audiovisual material that illustrates not only their respective company's history and programme development but also the main events of European interest.

The video files are digitised in low resolution quality (Windows Media and/or Real Video) and stored on servers in the respective country of origin. This decentralised structure is necessary to meet all the legal restriction many partners still face if it comes to putting audiovisual content online.

The content partners of BIRTH will deliver over 500 clippings from their archive material as a basis of our audiovisual "stock". Of course the group of institution contributing to the BIRTH website shall be expanded in the future and hopefully will grow into a representative European platform.

Besides the video files the user also finds stills and pdf files of scanned programme guides on the BIRTH webportal. Thus a wide range of different information sources will made available online.

Legal aspects
While working for the project it soon became very clear that it was not the technical challenges that were the most difficult to face, but the legal restrictions. The consortium unites partners in whose national legislations vary I in their laws on making (audiovisual) material available online. The spectrum ranges from an umbrella clause in Dutch law that makes online publication easy for non-commercial use to a very strict German legal situation where it is only possible to publish audiovisual files when used for citation purposes.

The front-end of the webportal
A lot of functionalities will be included in the front-end of the BIRTH webportal: browsing, full text search, thesaurus search, timeline search and others. The general access to the portal will be opened in December 2004. From one single point, the user is able to view material from several European archives.

The project consortium always welcomes new partners for the BIRTH webportal as one of the main goals is to widen the audiovisual pool of content on offer as soon as possible. Increasing in scope (covering more geographical regions) and time (covering a larger timespan).

If you wish to know more about the BIRTH project, don't hesitate to contact me at . If you want to get into touch with the project management, please contact Mr Harald Mayer from Joanneum Research in Graz (A), email:, you can also subscribe to the BIRTH mailing list at .

Alexander Hecht
This article was published with the kind permission of VIEWFINDER magazine

Last American Audio Tape Maker Closes

The NPR reported earlier this year that employees of the audiotape manufacturer Quantegy in Opelika, Ala., started the new year looking for work. The company shut down without notice, surprising everyone in town. The company's closing could signal the end of the audiotape industry.

New Kid on the Block

In 1997, nearing death, Allen Ginsberg had one final request of poet Anne Waldman, his friend and co-founder of Naropa's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics: "Save the tapes."

Over the past thirty years since Naropa-America's first Buddhist-inspired university- was founded in 1974 by Tibetan meditation master Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, nearly every class, lecture, reading, or panel conducted there was recorded, first on reel-to-reel tapes and later on cassettes. The cast of writers reads like a history of modern American prose and poetry, including the Beat poets Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, William S.Burroughs, Philip Whalen, Michael McClure, Gary Snyder,and Diane diPrima; the San Francisco Renaissance writers Robert Duncan and Robin Blaser; the Black Mountain School writers Robert Creeley and Ed Dorn; the Black Arts Movement writers Amiri Baraka and Lorenzo Thomas; the New York School poets John Ashbery, Kenward Elmslie, Barbara Guest, Kenneth Koch, Bill Berkson, Ted Berrigan, Anne Waldman, and Bernadette Mayer; the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets Charles Bernstein and Lynn Hejinian; and two generations of their poetic descendants.

For an interesting article on Naropa University's Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, who have 4,000 audio recordings, 300 hours of which are freely available on the web, and some are being commercially released, see

The Naropa Audio Archives can be viewed on:

ARSC Newsletter
Number 106 - Fall 2004

First European Communication Conference

The First European Communication Conference will be held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, during November 24-26, 2005. This conference is organised by the Communication Science Department of the University of Amsterdam, the European Communication Association (ECA), and the European Consortium for Communications Research (ECCR).

For more information, contact the web site:

Soundscapes: Reflections on the Aural and Oral Traditions of the Caribbean

Soundscapes: Reflections on the Aural and Oral Traditions of the Caribbean will be held in Barbados from July 25 - 29, 2005.

The conference organizers are extremely pleased at the number of presentations proposals received including several from internationally known experts in various aspects of the sound heritage of the Caribbean.

The LRC is particularly pleased that the African-American Department of Ohio University, Athens, Ohio has agreed to serve as co-sponsor of this conference.  The Head of that department and conference co-organizer is Dr. Vibert Cambridge.
On behalf of the organizers, I hereby extend an invitation to you and your colleagues to attend this important event.  We have timed the conference to coincide with Crop Over (Barbados' carnival).  Participants will therefore not only be able to enjoy the academic aspects of Caribbean sound but they will also have the opportunity to experience and participate in Barbados' premier festival.
Updates on the conference will be posted regularly to

Advertising Rates for IASA Publications

The IASA Board has resolved to offer advertisements in IASA publications, in an effort to increase IASA's income, as follows.

IASA Journal

The IASA Journal is published twice a year.


  • Quarter page €40

  • Half page vertical €70

  • Half page horizontal €70

  • Full page €110

  • Back cover €200


  • 01 April for June issue

  • 01 October for December issue

Mechanical Specs
The IASA Journal is a proper bound book (170mm wide x 245mm long)

  • Full page and back cover (170mmx245mm)

  • Half page vertical (80mmx245mm)

  • Half page horizontal (160mmx120mm)

  • Quarter page (80mmx120mm)

Acceptable Copy Formats:
If on disc, freehand on Mac is preferable. MS Word or PowerPoint documents on a PC disk are acceptable.  Include all fonts on the disk, or the printer will divert to its own (similar) version of the font, and copy may wrap differently.

Most word-processing programs can be converted.  Enclose hard copy with disc.

Electronic artwork is accepted. Camera-ready copy, negative, right heading, emulsion-down preferred. Artwork can be shot to size; film form should be to size. No colour or bleeds. Monochrome only; 133-line screen halftones. Advertisements generated electronically may be submitted as email attachments, or on disk as a PDF file at 300 dpi.

IASA Membership Directory

The IASA Membership Directory is published bi-annually. It gives the contact details for more than 500 individual and institutional members.

Rate - €110

Deadlines- Contact the Editor for specific deadlines.

Mechanical Specs
Camera-ready art only; negatives are preferred. Artwork can be shot to size, film form should be to size. No bleeds. Monochrome only. 133-line halftone.
Size: One size - Full (170mmx245mm)
Placement: Advertisements will be placed as dividers between sections (no premium space pages).


All the advertising is subject to editorial approval.
Artwork will be disposed of six months after publication, unless return is specified.

Calendar of Events

10-14 March ARSC-SAM Conference Cleveland, Ohio
18-24 April FIAF-SEAPAVAA Joint Congress Hanoi, Vietnam
24-26 June Joint Technical Symposium 2004 Toronto, Canada
8-13 August IAML-IASA joint Annual Conference Oslo, Norway
23 28 August ICA Annual Conference Vienna
October FIAT/IFTA Annual Conference Paris
9 13November AMIA Conference Minneapolis, U.S.
29 March -2 April ARSC annual conference Austin, USA
May SEAPAVAA 9th Annual Conference & General Assembly Brunei
28-31 May 118th AES Convention Barcelona, Spain
3-12 June 61st FIAF Congress Ljubljana, Slovenia
25-29 July Soundscapes: Reflections on Caribbean Oral and Aural Traditions Cave Hill, Barbados
14-18 August 71st IFLA General Conference and Council Oslo, Norway
11-15 September IASA Annual Conference Barcelona, Spain
September/October FIAT Conference & General Assembly New York, USA
7-10 October 119th AES Convention New York, USA
24-26 November First European Communication Conference Amsterdam
30 November 3 December AMIA annual conference Austin, USA
April 62nd FIAF Congress Sao Paulo, Brazil
14-18 August 72th IFLA General Conference and Council Seoul, Republic of Korea
September IASA Annual Conference Mexico City, Mexico
October AMIA annual conference Anchorage, USA
April 63rd FIAF Congress Tokyo, Japan
August 73th IFLA General Conference and Council Durban, South Africa
August XVIth International Congress on Archives Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
August 74th IFLA General Conference and Council Québec, Canada
September IASA annual conference Sydney, Australia


This Information Bulletin was compiled by:

The Editor - Ilse Assmann,
SABC, PO Box 931, 2006, Auckland Park, Johannesburg, South Africa,
Tel: 27 (0)11 714 4041, Fax: 27 (0)11 714 4419, Email:

Language editor: Dorothy van Tonder, SABC
Printed and produced in South Africa by Heypenni Gold