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RE: arsclist National Recording Registry: Nominations
Everything Les states is correct, and of course recordings
significant for their place in the technical history of audio would be
appropriate candidates. I take Kurt's question to be one of "eminent
domain:" would the gov't seize Kurt's copy if it were the only one in
existance? I am sure there are plenty of recordings in Kurt's collection
LC would like to have but that's not the intention of the criteria nor
Recordings on the Registry can be published or unpublished, and publicly
or privately held. The "master" need not exist for a recording to be on
the Registry. (That would eliminate quite a few good candidates.) What are
eliminated are "lost" recordings, for which nothings exists, such as
the Bettini Mark Twain, or Buddy Bolden.
This year there are preservation resources available to digitize Registry
recordings. LC would seek the best available copy, wherever we can
locate it (within reason!), preserve it, and return
it to its owner. In some cases, LC might have the best available copy
already. In cases where, say, Kurt has the only copy or best copy, we'd
hope to be able to borrow it, preserve it, and have a copy of it (not the
original) available to researchers.
Hope this helps. We look forward to having your nominations.
On Thu, 19 Sep 2002, Leslie Waffen wrote:
> David & Kurt and others.....As an NRPB Board alternate member and from
> our discussions, one of the six "criteria" for nominations is that
> unpublished (hence private recordings, broadcast recordings, etc.) can
> be nominated as well as published (commercial) recordings be they
> music, non-music, spoken word, or broadcast sound. But it is unclear
> to be me Kurt what you mean by "privately held". Do you mean a
> commercially made recording (released or unreleased) which would mean
> published but in private hands? Or privately recorded hence
> Remember one of the other criteria: "Recordings selected for the
> National Recording Registry are those that are culturally,
> historically, or aesthetically important, and/or inform or reflect
> life in the United States." Very broad, but I would speculate that
> "technically significant for the history of recorded sound" would also
> be understood as being in the above criteria.
> If a recording that "exists" is placed on the registry I would imagine
> the process would follow as it does for the National Film Registry,
> which is when significant films that still exist were selected for the
> registry. The item could already have been preserved, or LC would
> seek to locate the original or best surviving copy and if possible
> obtain a copy which could lead to preservation work. It does not
> affect the owner's rights in any way. However the item must be known
> to "exist" on a recording which could then possibly lead to locating
> the original or copy closest to the original, thus enhancing the
> possibility that the item(s) will be properly preserved in the best
> An example of a group of recordings (unpublished) I will nominate is
> FDR's "Fireside Chats" broadcasts. Now they exist in various places,
> but probably the best copies would be the instantaneous transcription
> discs held either by the FDR Library or National Archives. Or another
> group would be the "Mapleson Cylinders" (already preserved) and so on.
> An example of an unpublished single broadcast recording would be
> President Woodrow Wilson Armistice Day speech from November 10, 1923.
> Not only was it his last speech, this one is electrical and of an
> actual broadcast � the earliest still in existence.
> I am not an expert in commercial recordings, but I would assume such
> obvious items such as Elvis Presley's first released recording; or
> those of Robert Johnson's blues recordings, and on and on......the
> possiblities of recordings that were "first", or helped define a
> musical genre, or were technically significant, all could be
> Anyone anywhere gets to send in ten nominations if the recording falls
> within the six criteria.
> Les Waffen Special Media Archives National Archives
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