Text has been updated with event dates and website.
Paul McLane is Radio World editor in chief.
Fighting the good fight to protect radio’s heritage, folks
at the Radio Preservation Task Force plan their first national conference for
February here in Washington. I hope you’ll attend; I plan to.
The task force is part of the Library of Congress’s National Recording
Preservation Board. “Our first national conference, ‘Saving America’s Radio
Heritage,’ will bring together our dedicated research associates and affiliated
archives and collections, along with members of the broader academic, archival,
media and general public, to discuss what we have accomplished and plan for
future activities,” the organizers stated.
include a tour of the Library of Congress Packard Center, where audio and video
preservation work is done; a day of panels about radio’s history and cultural
significance downtown at the library’s Madison Building; and a day of workshops
and meetings at the nearby University of Maryland Center for Mass Media and
Culture, formerly the Library of American Broadcasting.
Seeking to address “the perilous state of the nation’s radio heritage,”
the task force has been seeking to identify major collections of radio
recordings and other materials. It says it now has 130 media studies scholars
involved, as well as some 350 affiliate archives, collections and radio
producing organizations. Affiliates range from NPR and the Smithsonian Center
for Folklife and Cultural Heritage to the Studs Terkel Archive and the Third
Coast International Audio Festival.
According to the
conference announcement, keynote speakers will include Professor Paddy Scannell
of the University of Michigan, a radio scholar and historian, and Sam
Brylawski, former head of the LOC’s Recorded Sound Division, described as a
digital recording pioneer.
I’m glad this effort is moving
forward, for all the reasons I’ve written about. Who among us hasn’t shuddered
at stories of audio archives ending up in a dumpster, or lost to the
degradation of audio tapes sitting on a shelf?
The event will be held Feb. 25-27. Learn more at radiopreservation.org.