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Tuesday, October 1 • 9:00am - 9:30am
The Lucy Durán collection: A report into the technical challenges digitising a mixed format audio collection

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A primary aim of the British Library's ambitious Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project is to digitise 110,000 items from our archival sound recording collections; many of these present unique challenges and technical hurdles, particularly those recorded over many years and multiple formats. The C2: Lucy Durán collection was created over a period of two decades, focusing primarily on field recordings in Gambia. The collection consists of 420 items, recorded across 5 different audio formats; from quarter-inch analogue tape, through to cassette, before transitioning into digital recording technology, primarily Digital Audio Tape (DAT). As an engineer working on the collection this paper will provide a technical breakdown for actively preserving such a diverse collection to archival standards; describing the methodology, configuration of equipment and the technical challenges that had to be overcome, including the extraction of sub-code information from DAT and accessing content on the obscure NT "Scoopman" format. The collection has now been digitised and the recordings are currently being catalogued for discovery and access. As part of the numerable collections that will make up the Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project, these recordings will provide an invaluable tool for researchers into Gambian music.

avatar for Tom Ruane

Tom Ruane

Preservation Audio Engineer / Trainer, British Library
Tom Ruane is a Preservation Audio Engineer & Trainer at the British Library, with over 10 years experience in the audio preservation field. In his current role on the ambitious Unlocking Our Sound Heritage project, which aims to digitise and fully preserve 160,00 at-risk recordings... Read More →

Tuesday October 1, 2019 9:00am - 9:30am BST
BenGLab 2