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!