Good news: we have funding to preserve at least another 250,000 sides of 78rpm records, and we are looking for donations to digitize and physically preserve. We try to do a good job of digitizing and hosting the recordings and then thousands of people listen, learn, and enjoy these fabulous recordings.
If you have 78s (or other recordings) that you would like to find a good home for, please think of us — we are a non-profit and your donations will be tax-deductible, digitized for all to hear, and physically preserved. If you are interested in donating recordings of any type or appropriate books, please start with this form and we will contact you immediately
We are looking for anything we do not already have. (We are finding 80% duplication rates sometimes, so we are trying to find larger or more niche collections). We will physically preserve all genres, but our current funding has directed us to prioritize digitization of non-classical and non-opera.
We can pay for packing and shipping, and are getting better at the logistics for collections of a few thousand and up. These are fragile objects and we are having good luck avoiding damage.
The reason to highlight the donors is twofold: one is the celebrate the donor and their story, but the other is to help contextualize these recordings for different generations. These stories help users find meaning in the materials and find things they want to listen to. This way we can lead new listeners to love this music as the original collectors have
Working together we can broaden this collection to works from around the world and different cultural groups in each country.
If you are a private individual or an institution and have records to contribute, even if they are not 78s, please start with this simple form, or email email@example.com, or call +1-415-561-6767 and we will contact you immediately. Thank you.
Growing up, my father worked night and day on a massive project which he called The Encyclopedia of Folk Music. Dad’s desk was in the middle of whatever small place we rented, if indeed rent was ever paid. His desk was the center of our household universe, piled high with papers, a Corona typewriter, stacks of reference books and sheet music, his ashtray over-flowing with cigar butts.
As a kid, I believed The Encyclopedia was going to make Dad famous, and he told me we’d have loads of money when it was published. He said he was listing thousands of folk songs in detailed entries. There would be nothing like it, or so I was told; the most complete collection of folk songs in existence, and he was the person to put it all together, having been a singer and songwriter back in the day, long before I was born in 1965.
Because my father couldn’t read music, a musician named Joe Tansman spent countless hours creating sheet music for Dad, he was at our house so often he became family. Unfortunately, Joe was never given attribution for his work, as far as I can tell.
Several years into the project, things went haywire. My mother said Dad sold The Encyclopedia to Billboard Magazine, but he couldn’t bring himself to give them the work. He kept the advance, using the money to rush us out of town.
When I was twelve, a man called the house calling my father a crook, and said he’d invested his life savings and wanted to be paid. That same year, more bad news: Dad said somehow his index for The Encyclopedia had been mysteriously burned and he’d have to start again, although there was no fire in or around our house. There was always a wacky reason why The Encyclopedia wouldn’t be published anytime soon.
Fast forward: I’m an adult trying to piece it together. My father died in 2009, and his encyclopedia isn’t with the rest of his papers. I began looking into things I was told, songs he said he wrote and his many pseudonyms. Recently I tracked down an older copy of The Encyclopedia a couple had invested in back in 1970. I knew by this time the work would never be published. I loved my dad and we were close, but I became obsessed with fact checking him, which started while he was still alive, and continues to this day.
Last summer, I pitched this complex story to NPR’s “Hidden Brain” podcast, and an episode was created based on decades of my research. They interviewed my contacts including a half-sister I met in 2011 (one of many children my father had abandoned). While “Hidden Brain” was in production, I purchased the 1970s copy of The Encyclopedia which became part of the story the show crafted.
Being featured on a popular podcast gave me a lucky break, I was contacted by Internet Archive. David Fox, Development Director, and Jeff Kaplan, Collections Manager had heard the show, and Jeff reached out to me, wondering if I’d be interested in having the work scanned. Brewster Kahle, the founder, approved the pro bono scanning of the work.
On my 54th birthday, 10 years after my father’s death, I took my copy of The Encyclopedia to Internet Archives and gave it to Jeff and Brewster. It’s hard to put into words the closure this gave me, knowing that at least after all the twists, turns and broken promises, Dad’s early copy will be online for people to use at no cost. I was told by Jeff Kaplan that he’d already found an obscure song in The Encyclopedia and performed it with his duo. I wish I could have been there to hear it!
There’s the last version of The Encyclopedia, which has mysteriously vanished. The boxes full of my father’s work were supposed to go to The Buck Owens Museum, but may have ended up in some unknown person’s storage. I’ve yet to track it down. That missing copy has more entries, and would take months to scan. But for now, I’m going to pause to enjoy the memory of my best birthday ever. Thank you to Internet Archive and all the wonderful people who made this happen.
The Basic Bye-bye Show is a series of quiet object fantasies in black, white, and grey inside a small fabric stage printed with elementary words — “Resist,” “Bread,” “Yes,” “Sky,” “Riot,” “Byebye.”
Bread & Puppet’s director, Peter Schumann, says of the show: “The Basic Bye-bye Show is based on the fact that our culture is saying its basic bye-bye to Mother Earth by continuing the devastating effects of the global economy on our planet.”
Bread and Puppet Theater was founded in 1963 by Peter Schumann on New York City’s Lower East Side. Their traveling puppet shows range from tightly composed theater pieces, to extensive outdoor pageants which require the participation of many volunteers. The Bread and Puppet Theater is one of the oldest, nonprofit, self-supporting theatrical companies in the country.
The Music Modernization Act is now US law and the final version of this bill, which seeks to fix a wide range of problems in music copyright law, is not perfect, but it’s better than the version we opposed a few months ago.
One portion of the MMA makes older sound recordings published before 1972 more available to the public. It expands an obscure provision of the library exception to US Copyright Law, Section 108(h), to apply to all pre-72 recordings. Unfortunately 108(h) is notoriously hard to implement. But, as we understand it, the MMA means that libraries can make some of these older recordings freely available to the public as long as we do a reasonable search to determine that they are not commercially available.
We took a look through our collections and found some vinyl rarities. Hopefully more to come. Enjoy!
Do you live in the Bay Area and love to groove for a good cause? On Saturday, June 30th the Internet Archive’s very own Jeff Kaplan and his Jefferson Airplane cover band ‘SF Airship Acoustic’ will be playing all the hits at Mill Valley’s Sweetwater Music Hall. Headlining the show is friend-of-the-Archive Roger McNamee’s band Moonalice. All ticket sales benefit the Internet Archive.
For those not able to come, the concert will be broadcasted live on the Moonalice Couch Tour Site and available online shortly after their set!
Benefit for Internet Archive
Featuring Moonalice and SF Airship June 30, 2018
Sweetwater Music Hall, Mill Valley, CA
Door: 7pm / Show: 8pm
Tickets: $10 advance/$15 day of show Purchase tickets here
Moonalice is a psychedelic, roots-rock band that plays mostly original material mixed with some covers, drawing from many musical genres honed from years of experience playing with various major acts. For every Moonalice concert, a well-known artist creates an original art poster with a unique Moonalice legend, distributed for free to all attendees. You can check out past Moonalice concert posters here. Moonalice’s digital logs are a part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame because, in the R&R Hall of Fame’s own words, Moonalice helps “tell the story of music’s digital revolution; specifically the rise of direct-from-artist (DFA) distribution.” Moonalice is the first band without a label to achieve one million downloads of a song from its own servers, direct-from-artist. “It’s 4:20 Somewhere” has been downloaded over two million times.
SF Airship Acoustic is about keeping the legendary sound of Jefferson Airplane alive and thriving. San Francisco Airship brings that wonderful Summer of Love vibe to our time, with classic hits like “White Rabbit”, “Somebody To Love”, “Wooden Ships”, “Volunteers” and many more. Members have performed with Jefferson Starship, Blue Cheer, Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Tubes, Big Brother & The Holding Company, New Riders Of The Purple Sage, and more. In the own words, “We grew up with their music, and maybe you did too. But we’ve discovered in performance that it’s relevant even to people who weren’t around for the original band… And, we’re not just performers, we’re fans. So we do our best to honor the spirit of the original music. We’re not trying to duplicate it so much as resurrect it. We’re bringing it back with the full force that only live music can do. We are SF Airship Acoustic. Come along with us.”
The Internet Archive is grateful to the folks at Kakadu Software for contributing to Universal Access to Knowledge by providing the world’s leading implementation of the JPEG2000 standard, used in the Archive’s image processing systems.
Here at the Archive, we digitize over a thousand books a day. JPEG2000, an image coding system that uses compression techniques based on wavelet technology, is a preferred file format for storing these images efficiently, while also providing advantages for presentation quality and metadata richness. The Library of Congress has documented its adoption of the JPEG2000 file format for a number of digitization projects, including its text collections on archive.org.
Recently we started using their SDK to apply some color corrections to the images coming from our cameras. This has helped us achieve FADGI standards in our work with the Library of Congress.
Thank you, Kakadu, for helping make it possible for millions of books to be digitized, stored, and made available with high quality on archive.org!
There is the “best” stylus version (according to an audio engineer at George Blood Co) that is renamed to be itune-ish compatible, but all the stylii recordings are there in flat and equalized formats, and each of those in FLAC and MP3 formats.
To download many records for research and preservation purposes (requires linux or mac and command line skills):
A recommendation for restoring a 78 from raw formats, like what we have on archive.org, by George Brock-Nannestad <pattac@IMAGE.DK> said he liked “ClickRepair suite of software from Australia” in a post to ARSC
I have been using Dartpro MT – I like it because it has a “Filter builder” – the program doesn’t like 24 bit but I transfer at 24/96,000 , resample to 16/96000 then decrackle starting with a setting of 50 repeating the process with an increase each time by another 10 i.e. 50, 60, 70, 80 (maximum) if more noise is still there, I run repeatedly at 80 until the reported interventions get to a number of 4000 or so. I can then manually remove any clicks that are left. I don’t use the denoise or dehiss, preferring to use declick at very low settings (78’s don’t have hiss – what you hear as hiss is the combination of many little clicks. I start with a setting of 2 then 4 then 6 . I leave the settings the same then just find whether 1 or 2 or 3 passes will polish the higher noise away. Decrackle doesn’t affect the high frequencies but declick does. This process takes a little time but I almost never find that any distortion is introduced to the sound. I hate getting to the end of the record where the really growly trumpet sound is a distorted mess, and this workflow prevents that. – Mickey Clark
My “go to” software for restoration work is Izotope. However, I also have Adobe Audition, Diamond Cut, Pro Tools, Samplitude, and Sound Forge available for specific situations. As Ted Kendall points out: Hearing and Judgment play the major roles in both transfer and restoration. To that I would add Experience. And, as always, start with the best possible source.
Please write to the Internet Archive’s music curator firstname.lastname@example.org or more generally to email@example.com .
Europeana Radio marks the beginning of easy and interactive access to Europe’s sound treasures, where listeners are free to browse, listen and tag. The player contains over 200.000 historic music tracks collected from sound archives across twelve European countries, including content from the Internet Archive. Europeana Radio is launched by Europeana Sounds and Europeana Foundation.
Interactive radioplayer Users can browse a wide range of sound recordings (Classical Music, Folk and Traditional Music and Popular Music), play them on random mode, and tag the tracks with musical genres. The tagging feature of Europeana Radio means that all users, from casual listeners to historians and academics, can become archivists by tagging the musical genres of the recordings whilst listening to them. This ultimately improves the discoverability of these tracks within the Europeana Music Collection and provides a better experience of the recordings.
Improving access Europeana Radio builds on three years of work aggregating audio content from cultural institutions across Europe, improving their access by enriching descriptions and developing themed sound channels, led by the Europeana Sounds project. As a result more than one million recordings, previously sitting hidden in individual institutions and only available to their respective audiences, are now available on Europeana. The musical archives and Europeana Radio are gathered under a special thematic portal Europeana Music.
Curious? Listen to Europeana Radio and discover Europe’s musical heritage yourself! Will you be able to identify the genres?
The 10th annual screening of Lost Landscapes, Rick Prelinger’s archival tour of San Francisco’s past (and anticipation of its future) happens again at the Internet Archive on Thursday, December 10. Your ticket donations will benefit the Internet Archive, the non-profit digital library that hosts the Prelinger Collection. Please give generously to support our mission: providing universal access to our cultural treasures, including these cinematic gems.
Thursday, December 10, 2015
6:30 pm Reception
7:30 pm Interactive Film Program
300 Funston Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94118
Combining past favorites with new cinematic discoveries, this feature-length program shows San Francisco’s neighborhoods, landmarks, celebrations and people from 1906 through the 1970s. New sequences this year include 1930s downtown tavern scenes, New Deal labor graphics and an exuberant 1940s Labor Day parade, radical longshore workers, newly discovered World War II-era tourist-shot Kodachrome film, residential neighborhood activities and much more.
As usual, the audience creates the soundtrack — audience members are asked to identify places and events, ask questions, share their thoughts, and create an unruly interactive symphony of speculation about the city we’ve lost and the city we’d like to live in.
The film begins at 7:30 pm and is preceded by an informal reception that begins at 6:30 pm. Light concessions will be available for purchase. Although capacity is limited, no one will be turned away due to lack of funds.