If you are unsure how to look after your sound archives, please give us a shout. We can offer advice based on our experience in storing, digitising and cataloguing sound recordings.
We delivered three series of webinars with the help of the British Library in 2021. This training was free and open to anyone working in a gallery, museum, archive or library in the North West region.
Each run was made up of four hour-long webinars a week apart. You can watch and download some of the course handouts below.
1. Planning and collection preparation
In this session we covered how to audit your collection and the basics of evaluating options to work towards an audio preservation strategy for your service. We discussed the decision to outsource digitisation or do it yourself, and we introduced format identification.
A good place to start when considering auditing your sound collections is to read the description of the British Library’s methodology for producing the UK Sound Directory. You can read the British Library guide Getting Your Sound Collections Digitised – the First Steps.
2. Digitisation and care of formats
In this session we covered assessing, storing and handling different formats:
And the principles of digitisation focusing on tape reel and cassette formats:
We have produced an introduction to the basics of audio and a comprehensive guide to audio carrier identification and preservation. We have also produced detailed process documents for the digitisation and transfer of:
You can also read British Library guides on:
- Storage for sound collections
- Long term storage of digital audio files
- Disaster prevention and recovery of audio collections
- How to ID care for your sound collection
In this session we covered how Unlocking Our Sound Heritage hubs catalogued sound recordings from audio and existing documentation and how you could adapt this for your repository or project. We also gave tips about how to incorporate catalogue descriptions of sound recordings into your own collections management system.
We are currently looking at mapping from Excel to other systems. Here is an example for CALM, showing one recording in a spreadsheet and in the CALM tree structure, along with a table showing the fields and MARC21 codes.
You can read a British Library guide to cataloguing sound recordings.
Check out our cataloguing zine.
4. Rights and online use
This session presented an overview of how copyright and data protection legislation affects sound recordings and some demonstrations, showing you how to provide access to your sound archives onsite and online. You can read British Library guides on copyright and data protection for sound archives.
If you have any questions about sound archive digitisation, cataloguing, rights or access please get in touch.
Blogs showing UOSH processes
Free Open University course including interactive modules on early revolutions in sound recording:
Digital preservation resources from The National Archives and the Digital Preservation Coalition:
From the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives (IASA):
- The Safeguarding of the Audiovisual Heritage: Ethics, Principles and Preservation Strategy
- Guidelines on the Production and Preservation of Digital Audio Objects
- Handling and Storage of Audio and Video Carriers
- IASA-TC 06 Guidelines for the Preservation of Video Recordings
- Ethical Principles for Sound and Audiovisual Archives