The State of Recorded Sound Preservation in the United States: A National Legacy at Risk in the Digital Age

Commissioned for and sponsored by the National Recording Preservation Board, Library of Congress

August 2010. 169 pp.
ISBN 978-1-932326-36-9
CLIR pub148

PDF Download of Complete Report (1 MB file) >>

Detailed Table of Contents, with links to specific pages >>

This is the first comprehensive, national-level study of the state of sound recording preservation ever conducted in the U.S. The authors, Rob Bamberger and Sam Brylawski, have produced a study outlining the web of interlocking issues that now threaten the long-term survival of our sound recording history. This study tells us that major areas of America’s recorded sound heritage have already been destroyed or remain inaccessible to the public. It suggests that the lack of conformity between federal and state laws may adversely affect the long-term survival of pre-1972-era sound recordings in particular. And, it warns that the continued lack of national coordination among interested parties in the public and private sectors, in addressing the challenges in preservation, professional education and public access, may not yet be arresting permanent loss of irreplaceable sound recordings in all genres.

This study lays the groundwork for the National Recording Preservation Plan that was mandated under the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000 and will be published by the Library of Congress later in 2010. The National Recording Preservation Plan will make specific recommendations for addressing the complex problems revealed by The State of Recorded Sound Preservation in the United States.

Other reports related to this study can be found on this Web site:

(pub146) Protection for Pre-1972 Sound Recordings under State Law and Its Impact on Use by Nonprofit Institutions: A 10-State Analysis >>

(pub144) Copyright and Related Issues Relevant to Digital Preservation and Dissemination of Unpublished Pre-1972 Sound Recordings by Libraries and Archives >>

(pub137) Capturing Analog Sound for Digital Preservation: Report of a Roundtable Discussion of Best Practices for Transferring Analog Discs and Tapes >>

(pub135) Copyright Issues Relevant to Digital Preservation and Dissemination of Pre-1972 Commercial Sound Recordings by Libraries and Archives >>

(pub133) Survey of Reissues of U.S. Recordings >>


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