Sounds good

Article dated: 30 November 2007

Sound recordings can offer unique insights into our heritage and culture. But providing access to sound recordings and ensuring their long-term preservation, whether analogue or digital, can provide particular challenges. In November, a workshop was held on 'Improving Sound Archives in the East of England' at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford. The workshop aimed to give the non-specialist clear and practical advice on how best to ensure the long-term preservation of the most common sound recording media, and to suggest achievable solutions for providing access to recordings.

Experts from the County Record Office sector discussed the problems of working with analogue media such as vinyl records and audio tape. John Southall of the UKDA examined some of the issues involved in archiving audio recordings and in particular digital audio. He outlined best practice in providing safe storage and stressed the importance of robust metadata when working with data of this kind. The creation of digital audio files, as well as the procedures for converting older analogue recordings, was also covered in some detail.