CLIR Issues Number 50
Number 50 • March/April 2006
For the Record: Recorded-Sound Studies Nearing Completion by Nancy Davenport
Got Metadata? by Barrie Howard
Defining Place and a Sense of Community through Collaborationby Scott W. Schwartz, Archivist for Music and Fine Arts Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, UIUC
For the Record
Recorded-Sound Studies Nearing Completion
by Nancy Davenport
Spring 2006 marks the culmination of several projects that CLIR has been carrying out in partnership with the National Recording Preservation Board (NRPB). The NRPB, established at the Library of Congress by the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, was charged with studying and reporting on the state of sound-recording preservation in the United States. In 2001, the Library of Congress (LC) asked CLIR to develop and implement the first phase of a national preservation plan for recorded sound. To this end, CLIR has been undertaking a range of work that identifies obstacles to the preservation of and access to sound recordings made before 1972.
Survey of Barriers to Access
CLIR is completing a study that explores the range of factors—from cataloging to physical deterioration to copyright—that threaten future access to our recorded-sound heritage. The study draws heavily on information gathered from interviews with a range of stakeholders, such as curators, collectors, scholars, performers, and rights holders. CLIR and LC expect to publish the report later this year.
The Copyright Conundrum
Sound recordings made before 1972 are governed by a patchwork of state laws, rather than by federal copyright law. The variation in laws—and in how they have been interpreted—can cloud the limits of legal use of our recorded heritage. Scholars may be frustrated in their efforts to legally use old recordings in research or teaching; librarians and archivists are often confused as to whether they have the rights to grant access to old recordings or to preserve them through reformatting.
To better undertstand the types of protections states extend to pre-1972 sound recordings and what impact these laws may have on the use of such recordings by nonprofit institutions, CLIR commissioned American University law professor Peter Jaszi to conduct a review of ten states. The states under study are: Alabama, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Mr. Jaszi’s findings will inform planning for a 50-state survey.
Mr. Jaszi’s work will complement June Besek’s Copyright Issues Relevant to Digital Preservation and Dissemination of Pre-1972 Commercial Sound Recordings by Libraries and Archives, which CLIR copublished with the Library of Congress in December 2005. Ms. Besek, executive director of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts at Columbia Law School, is now working on a second report that analyzes digital-preservation and digital-distribution issues related to radio broadcast and pertinent unpublished recordings.
Analog-to-Digital Conversion: Technical Issues
Forthcoming in March will be the first of two technical reports on audio preservation. The report, Capturing Analog Sound for Digital Preservation: Report of a Roundtable Discussion of Best Practices for Transferring Analog Discs and Tapes, provides recommendations on how best to prepare analog sound recordings for digital transfer.
On March 10 and 11, 2006, CLIR hosted a second experts’ roundtable, titled “Issues in Digital Audio Preservation Planning and Management.” The meeting was framed by a series of white papers on such topics as:
- storage and archiving solutions for smaller archives;
- measuring and evaluating analog-to-digital converters for the purpose of long-term storage preservation;
- examination of established file formats; advantages of each for archival and commercial purposes; related security issues; and interoperability;
- how to increase efficiency in transferring analog discs for digital preservation; and
- how the archival community can engage the scientific community in solving important preservation problems.
CLIR and LC expect to publish a report of the second roundtable later this year.
by Barrie Howard
Imagine that you are a humanities scholar preparing to write a paper about the impact of narrow-gauge railroad development on westward expansion during the late nineteenth century in the United States. You’re interested in finding digital resources to use as material for your work and in surveying the literature to locate authors who have written on your subject or related topics. Where would you begin?
First, let me suggest that a Google search is not the best answer. Google’s Web-crawling robots are very effective at indexing and making searchable textual content from the surface Web—the vast matrix of static documents on the Internet that are woven together by a weft and woof of hyperlinks. However, a significant proportion of the online information environment is not indexed by conventional Web crawlers and therefore remains hidden from researchers. You have to break the surface to get to the good stuff.
The deep Web holds an immense knowledge base of scholarly communication, from conference proceedings to dissertations and theses. This heterogeneous body of knowledge is stored in databases, digital archives, and institutional repositories. It includes text, data sets, images, audio, and video. But the inherent diversity of these resources and the storage systems that contain them pose a challenge to resource discovery using full-text indexes designed for searching documents on the surface Web. So what’s the alternative?
One solution is the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) Protocol for Metadata Harvesting. OAI is a protocol to enable access to scholarly content in the deep Web. This is accomplished through resource description, metadata, and industry standards for formatting, packaging, and transmitting information about digital resources. Such metadata enables users to find, evaluate, and access valuable content online.
The world according to OAI is divided into data providers and service providers. Data providers create and expose, or push, metadata records about information resources from servers called repositories. Service providers harvest, or pull, records from repositories and build user services around aggregations of harvested metadata.
In 2004, the Digital Library Federation (DLF) was awarded an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership Grant for Libraries to drive forward adoption of OAI in libraries. This research-and-demonstration project addresses the needs of both data and service providers, through four main components, each of which is briefly described below.
The project team has developed the DLF OAI Portal Prototype, a finding system for searching harvested metadata about digital resources held by DLF member libraries. The prototype is a second-generation OAI finding system, built to demonstrate what a service provider can do with harvested metadata. Supported by the University of Michigan, the prototype allows searching by single terms or phrases and the use of Boolean operators, limiting by resource types, and sorting of results by title, author, and date. Users can also browse results by institution and can use a “bookbag” feature for downloading or e-mailing selected results. The prototype is up and running as a beta test, available from http://www.hti.umich.edu/cgi/b/bib/bib-idx?c=imls;page=simple.
In concert with another IMLS-grant team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), the DLF project team is working to refine the reporting functions of the Experimental OAI Registry at UIUC. The registry contains information about OAI-compliant repositories, which some service providers will find useful, and it moves the field one step closer to revealing the scope of the OAI-service landscape.
Two other important deliverables for the IMLS-grant project are a set of best practices guidelines, which will go to press this spring, and a set of training modules for OAI implementation that are available online from http://www.diglib.org/architectures/oai/imls2004/training/index.htm. The OAI Best Practices, supported by DLF and the National Science Digital Library, synthesize the lessons learned from early adopters of OAI and make recommendations for authoring metadata records that go beyond the basic requirements and increase the use value of a record. Their purpose is to improve communication between data and service providers.
The training curriculum, developed at Emory University, has its greatest value in discussing the nuts and bolts of how to implement and integrate OAI into library technical-services infrastructures and production workflows. Many institutions want to share their collections, but have no time and money to waste on false starts. The grant-project team recognized the importance of addressing these issues. The training modules cover administrative planning concerns for library administrators, deployment strategies for data providers, an overview of OAI-implementation tools for data and service providers, and the summary of best practices discussed above.
In summary, OAI enables libraries to share metadata and build more-comprehensive discovery systems for their users.
Now flash back to the scenario mentioned at the top of this article. Imagine that you’re a savvy scholar who has access to the rich resources of the deep Web because her library is harvesting OAI metadata and has added a finding system to its bundle of Web services. You would be able to discover a wealth of digitized primary-source material and authoritative sources on your topic, and you’d waste little time sifting through irrelevant results or pursuing dead-end clickstreams. This is not fiction and is possible because many libraries have embraced OAI and are sharing metadata using the framework. The results are improved Web services and empowered researchers.
Got metadata? Share it.
CLIR Appoints Preservation Advisory Committee
CLIR has appointed an advisory committee to guide the development of its preservation agenda. The committee is one of four being formed to help plan work in CLIR’s main areas of focus: place as library, scholarly communication, preservation and stewardship, and leadership. The preservation committee held its first meeting February 24 and expects to submit recommendations for review and adoption in late spring.
Michele Cloonan, Dean and Professor
Graduate School of Library & Information Science
Paul L. Conway, Director, Digital Asset Initiatives
Perkins Library System
Evelyn Frangakis, Chief of Preservation
New York Public Library
Paul Gherman, University Librarian
Karen Hunter, Senior Vice President
Robert Kieft, Librarian of the College
William LeFurgy, Digital Initiatives Project Manager
Library of Congress
Carol Mandel, Dean of Libraries
New York University Libraries
James Neal, Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian
Director of the Library and Professor of Law
Georgetown University Law Center
Bernard Reilly, Jr., President
Center for Research Libraries
James Reilly, Director, Image Permanence Institute
Rochester Institute of Technology
Mark Roosa, Dean of Libraries
Johan F. Steenbakkers, Director
e-Strategy & Property Management
Defining Place and a Sense of Community through Collaboration
by Scott W. Schwartz, Archivist for Music and Fine Arts Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, UIUC
Editor’s note: The following article is the first in a series that will examine the idea of “place as library,” one of CLIR’s four thematic areas of focus (see CLIR Issues 48). The articles will highlight ways in which libraries are using their collections, expertise, and services beyond their walls to engage with users, other campus units, and the broader community. This article highlights recent activities at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to illustrate the possibilities offered by collaboration with cultural institutions on and off campus.
The public entrusts to libraries, archives, and museums the responsibility for preserving the artifacts of culture over time. These institutions incubate community and sense of place by preserving society’s accomplishments and promoting discovery and new knowledge. Today, these institutions are finding that collaboration is crucial for maintaining their relevance and for enabling them to provide the highest-quality educational service and public programming to students, faculty, and members of their local and regional communities.
Annual Collaboration Celebrates America’s Musical Heritage
The Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and its Sousa Archives and Center for American Music (the Center)1 began developing creative collaborations inside and outside the university in preparation for the university’s 2004 celebration of the sesquicentennial of John Philip Sousa’s birth. The culmination of planning for this event was the passage in October 2004 of Congressional Resolution 459, which declared November to be American Music Month. The aim of American Music Month is to foster understanding of America’s diverse music heritage and of the role of curators, archivists, and librarians in preserving this material culture.
One highlight of the 2004 celebration was the November 6 football game halftime extravaganza, Stars, Stripes and Sousa, during which the university’s band, the Marching Illini, performed several Sousa marches to a near-capacity audience. The Center, in collaboration with the university’s library, School of Music, and division of intercollegiate athletics, provided the music and narrative explanations for the marches, using information drawn from the Center’s historical collections. The performance, which transformed the traditional halftime ceremony into a unique learning experience, concluded with a spirited rendition of Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever. The finale brought the entire audience to its feet and was greeted with thunderous applause.
National Collaboration Strengthens Outreach
The Smithsonian Institution invited the University of Illinois into its prestigious Affiliations Program in September 2005. Smithsonian Affiliations provide museums, archives, and libraries from across the country a forum to showcase themselves and their collections on a national stage. The program also enables the Smithsonian Institution to more broadly share its artifacts, programs, and expertise. This new relationship between the Smithsonian Institution and University of Illinois continues each institution’s historic commitment to collaboration for the betterment of learning and historic preservation. The partnership also gives faculty and students an opportunity to participate in a variety of internships and fellowships at and through the Smithsonian Institution and to work with leaders from academic, museum, archive, and library communities in our nation’s capital.
Re-creating the Chautauqua
American Music Month 2006 will celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the 1906 Eastern Illinois Chautauqua. Early twentieth-century Chautauqua celebrations throughout the country brought together leading artists, writers, performers, and scholars from around the world for two-week summer camps for the advancement of the arts and humanities in rural communities. The 2006 celebration will focus on the Illinois Chautauqua and violin music because Sousa began his musical training as a violinist. He believed that great European symphonic music could be played by America’s wind bands in communities that had no easy access to symphonic concerts. Such music would have been performed at Chautauqua gatherings throughout the country.
To re-create the Chautauqua, the Center will collaborate with the University of Illinois Library, the university’s School of Music, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, the Krannert Art Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, WILL AM-FM-TV, and the Champaign-Urbana Symphony. The month-long program will explore both classical and popular music in concerts, dance and theater performances, poetry readings, exhibits, and lectures. Daytime concerts will be held for area youth, as will a repeat performance of the popular Champaign Youth Fiddling Contest, which was initiated during the 2005 music celebration.
One feature of this year’s celebration will be a major exhibition of the Axelrod String Quartet consisting of a matched set of four Antonio Stradivarius instruments (two violins, a viola, and a cello) from the Smithsonian Institution. The exhibit will include seventeenth- and eighteenth-century paintings from the Krannert Art Museum’s collections and seminal publications from the university’s Rare Book & Manuscript Library. These works will illustrate the historical and cultural links between the visual, musical, and literary arts.
In addition, the Center will install exhibits featuring two recently acquired collections—the Joseph Olivadoti Music and Papers and the Eddie Alkire Papers and Hawaiian Guitars.2 A performance of Sheridan’s Ride, a dramatic musical re-enactment of the Civil War, will highlight another historical work from the Center’s Sousa collection. The Marching Illini will perform this music for the November 11 football game halftime show, which will honor American veterans.
Another highlight of the event will be two performances by the Smithsonian Chamber Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Slowik, during which musicians will use the Axelrod Stradivarius instruments. The instruments will also be used for several master classes and open rehearsals. Several educational outreach programs will be created in collaboration with Krannert Art Museum’s Arts on the Go, which brings historical art and music artifacts from the university’s collections to local and regional public schools. This year’s outreach will focus on underserved communities within central Illinois.
Preserving, Affirming Community Identity
It is each generation’s responsibility to learn from the material culture of its predecessors. This knowledge solidifies our understanding of ourselves as a community of individuals over time and affirms our sense of place within society. While much of each year’s programming is devoted to performances and exhibitions of historical music and artifacts, each event carries a message to our public that America’s cultural heritage has been preserved largely through the efforts of librarians, archivists, and curators. Affirming a sense of place and community identity for America’s music heritage is the primary purpose of the Center’s efforts to develop public programs and exhibitions that have the power to return sound to the university’s unique collections of historic music and instruments.
1 The Sousa Archives and Center for American Music (a single unit within the university), serves as a repository that documents the legacy and diverse heritage of this country’s music culture. The University of Illinois Library is home to the world’s largest collection of original and published music manuscripts of John Philip Sousa. It acquired the collection in 1932.
2 Joseph Olivadoti was an Italian oboist, composer, and educator who played for Chicago’s Harold Bachman Million Dollar Band from 1920 to 1931 and for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1926 to 1931. The Eddie Alkire Hawaiian guitars are considered to be the progenitors of the modern Hawaiian guitar in America.
Report Highlights Boat Library
A new report from CLIR, Shidhulai Swarnivar Sangstha: Bringing Information Technology to Rural Bangladesh by Boat, describes the innovative program that received the 2005 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Access to Learning Award. Shidhulai Swarnivar Sangstha (SSS) is a nongovernmental organization in Bangladesh that organized the use of indigenous boats to provide residents in the country’s impoverished remote communities free public access to computers and the Internet. In 2004, the SSS boat program reached about 86,500 families. The report can be viewed online at https://www.clir.org/pubs/abstract/pub136abst.html. Print copies can also be ordered through the Web site.
Frye Institute Participants Named
The following individuals have been selected for participation in the 2006 Frye Leadership Institute. The Institute will be held June 4 – 16 at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
Ethan Benatan, Reed College
Vincent Boisselle, Trinity College
Braddlee, Simmons College
Jean-Claude Bradley, Drexel University
Barbara Brandt, Emory University
Diane Butler, Rice University
Mark Dahl, Lewis & Clark College
Bradley Daigle, University of Virginia
Stephen Davison, UCLA
Joanne Dehoney, The Ohio State University
Billie Dodge, Washington College
Victoria Duggan, Montgomery College
Steven Edscorn, Memphis Theological Seminary
Edward Evans, Purdue University
Rachel Frick, University of Richmond
David Futey, Stanford University
Marie Gayle, New York University
Gail Golderman, Union College
David Greenfield, Illinois State University
Mara Hancock, University of California, Berkeley
Lucy Holman-Rector, University of Baltimore
Kristine Jones, Colorado College
Kathleen Kern, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Benette Kriel, Stellenbosch University
Merri Beth, Lavagnino Indiana University
Thoreau Lovell, San Francisco State University
Dan Manier, University of Notre Dame
Janet McCue, Cornell University
Carole Meyers, Emory University
Ashley Montgomery, University of Maine at Farmington
Hester Mountifield, The University of Auckland
Mur Muchane, Davidson College
Layne Nordgren, Pacific Lutheran University
Robert Orr, Western Carolina University
Andrew Pace, North Carolina State University
L. Jason Parkhill, Washington & Jefferson College
Rebecca Petersen, Lesley University
Michael Richichi, Drew University
Suzanne Risley, Mitchell College
James Robertson, New Jersey Institute of Technology
Janet Scannell, Bryn Mawr College
Roxanne Sellberg, Northwestern University
Jorge Sosa Ortega, The American University of Paris
Jennifer Stringer, Stanford University
Patricia Tully, Wesleyan University
Lucinda Zoe, Eugenio Maria de Hostos Community College