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Wednesday, 27th September 2006

British Library and JISC Launch Massive Archival Audio Archive; Nat Library of New Zealand and BL Announce New Web Harvesting Programme

+ Now Live: Explore 12,000 selected recordings of music, spoken word, and human and natural environments
Massive digitisation programme by the British Library and JISC makes 3,900 hours of historic sound recordings available to students, researchers and academics A major new online resource available free to everyone in Higher Education (HE) and Further Education (FE) will provide easy access to thousands of hours of rare and historic sound recordings. Archival Sound Recordings (ASR), launched today by the British Library in partnership with JISC (the Joint Information Systems Committee), will make available to students, researchers and academics some 12,000 unique materials from the dawn of recording history to the present day. Searching the archive is open to everyone. However, "

  • For copyright reasons, only people in licensed UK higher and further education institutions, or in our reading rooms can play the recordings. Downloading is available in licensed institutions."
  • Direct to Archive.

    Highlights of the fully searchable archive include:

    * Unique and previously unpublished recordings of East African and South African music and cultural activities;
    * The story of six decades of jazz in the UK, its varied styles, venues and characters, as told by musicians, promoters and label owners;
    * A comprehensive archive of performances of Beethoven string quartets – unique in the way it reflects changing performance styles over the past 100 years;
    * Insights into the lives and concerns of painters, photographers and sculptors through interviews with artists such as Elisabeth Frink, David Bailey, Fay Godwin, Eduardo Paolozzi and Anthony Caro;
    * Radio material illustrating the richness and diversity of African writing and political culture during the 1960s and 70s.

    + Harvesting Digital Heritage

    The National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Mãtauranga o Aotearoa, The British Library and Sytec, a subsidiary of TelstraClear, have announced the successful development of a web harvesting management system.

    The system, known as the web curator tool, will enable organisations to easily gather online material for storage in digital archives.

    The web curator tool is the latest development in the practice of web harvesting (using software to ‘crawl' through a specified section of the world wide web, and gather ‘snapshots' of websites, including the images and documents posted on them)...The partnership was brought together under the auspices of the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC) to find a desktop solution to the challenge of collecting web material that would allow widespread implementation of web harvesting without requiring a high level of technical understanding within organisations.

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