Conference paper Open Access

Active preservation of analogue audio documents: A summary of the last seven years of digitization at CSC

Niccolò Pretto; Alessandro Russo; Federica Bressan; Valentina Burini; Antonio Rodà; Sergio Canazza

During the last 40 years, a large number of musical works was composed and recorded at the Centro di Sonologia Computazionale (CSC) of the University of Padova. The problem of how to preserve this increasing amount of audio documents arose and, in order to meet this need, the CSC started to carry out a research to develop a scientific methodology for preservation. In the last 7 years, this methodology was refined and applied to the digitization of more than 2,500 audio documents both from Italian and international audio archives, mainly stored on analogue magnetic carriers such as open-reel tapes and cassettes. Their content consists of electronic, folk and other kinds of music, as well as speech recordings. The methodology provides for collecting numerous metadata about the original carrier on which the audio information was stored, i.e. flange diameter, brand and material, its physical state and the related preservation copy, necessary for a correct preservation of the content and the contextual information. This work aims to extract and interpret the information from this wealth of data and metadata, which was collected and structured through the software PSKit. This may be useful for audio technicians, archives and policy makers to plan future preservation projects. 

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