Selection of Different Records

Let us compare a few imaginary records of ten-, thirty- and sixty-minutes duration by running them through the selection stages mentioned above and estimating the time taken for each stage. In doing this we can also make a distinction between a selection process in which the record is listened to completely, for instance in the case of dubious dubbings or a great many separate items (maximum intensity), and a process in which only part of the record is listened to (minimum intensity). See Table1.

Duration of recordings




Stages of the selection process min. max. min. max. min. max.
1. from storage 3m 3m 3m 3m 3m 3m
2. inspection 5m 5m 5m 5m 5m 5m
3. listening 5m 10m 10m 30m 20m 60m
4. filling in form 5m 5m 5m 5m 5m 5m
5. to storage 3m 3m 3m 3m 3m 3m
6. evaluation and completing from 5m 5m 5m 5m 5m 5m
Total of selection process 26m 31m 31m 51m 41m 81

Table1: stages and durations of two different selection processes for recordings of three different durations (in minutes)

It is not insignificant that the only variable figures in this table concern the time necessary for a minimum or maximum listening to the recording. All other figures are, generally speaking, the same for every kind of record. (The storage time has been limited to three minutes each because one should, of course, handle a group of records all in one.) There may be some differences between the one and the other single recording, but such variations are not significant for our comparison. It must be noted, however, that part of the pre-cataloguing process does not have to be repeated during the cataloguing process proper. We should, therefore, deduct some time from the total duration of the selection process in order to make a comparison with the cataloguing process more meaningful. But a suitable cataloguing process should include the listening stage, particularly in view of the production of a summary and the determination of keywords. Only a few data listed on the selection form might then serve to speed up the cataloguing process and you cannot subtract more than five minutes on the average from each of the total times mentioned in the table.

We may, in any, case safely conclude that

if selection does not result in the de-selection of a certain number of records, it will only add considerable additional loss of time to the existing lack of time of the staff.

The duration of the selection may very from twenty to eighty minutes or more per record, depending upon the duration of the recording and the amount of listening we decide to do.