It has been some time since there has been a report on the Player Piano Project, but there has been a great deal of activity toward the design and construction of a piano roll scanner. We are working with Anthony Robinson in England who is a player piano enthusiast and the designer of a roll scanner which we believe is one of the best scanners in operation to date. Anthony graciously and generously agreed to work with us to create a scanner that would handle scanning large numbers of rolls easily and efficiently.
Blog topic: Sound recordings
At long last, the Archive of Recorded Sound will receive some much-needed new shelving, and the installation work will begin this summer with preparatory shifting of archival materials beginning on May 1st. During the summer and fall much of the old shelving will be removed and new shelving will be installed. The project is scheduled for completion in December.
…drop by the Music Library to view seminal albums from the Summer of Love! LPs include works by the Jefferson Airplane, the Mamas & the Papas, the Grateful Dead, the Doors, and Big Brother & the Holding Company.
Weldon Kees was unknown to me when I started processing the San Francisco Traditional Jazz Foundation collection about three months ago. In photographs, Kees has dark hair combed neatly to one side, a matching moustache, and an intense gaze. He was most often photographed wearing a tweed suit with a sweater vest and tie and holding a cigarette. He dabbled in a number of things (among them: Communism, novel-writing, Abstract Expressionist painting, psychotherapy) but, over time, it has become clear that Kees best made a name for himself through poetry.
On October 14, the exhibit, “Mario Paci and Music Culture in Shanghai: A Special Exhibition in Commemoration of Mario Paci,” opened at Shanghai Symphony Hall to commemorate 70 years since the death of the Symphony’s revered founding conductor. The exhibit is a collaborative project between the Stanford University Libraries, the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.
Earlier this year the Stanford Media Preservation Lab and Conservation Lab were tasked with figuring out how to playback severely warped paper based disc sound recordings. The recordings in question are from a three disc set titled Man-Talk by Three Great Western Stars and each one-sided disc in the set features a single monologue by John Wayne, Bill Elliott, or Johnny Mack Brown.
Most of the community is aware of the planned development for Stanford’s Redwood City Campus. What few of you may be aware of is that four departments from the Stanford University Libraries (SUL) moved out to Redwood City three years ago. We have been working out of 425 Broadway which is one of the buildings slated for demolition. The development of the new campus necessitates SUL’s relocation from 425 across the street to 500 Broadway – the former home of AMPEX.
The four units moving are: Stanford University Press, Conservation Services, Stanford Media Preservation Lab, and Technical Services branch of Special Collections. SUL staff in these four units have been working for over a year with SUL’s Facilities Department on planning for this interim space. I say interim, because in another 2.5 years, we’ll be moving back onto the new campus.
Open reel tapes, head blocks, and unconventional track arrangements at the Stanford Media Preservation Lab
Part of audio preservation work includes working with media that has peculiar characteristics. Sometimes the atypical qualities are a byproduct of how the recording was made by the recordist. An example of this type of problem that we occasionally see at the Stanford Media Preservation Lab is when an open reel tape is recorded over and there is remaining content hidden in certain spots of the tape. This presents specific problems in capture since tape heads are built for use with specific physical configurations of tracks and thus capturing the hidden spots outside of the normal range of track configuration is near impossible. With this in mind SMPL recently worked on obtaining equipment to address this challenging scenario.