From Indian ritual music to bawdy English pub songs to Ugandan court music to Nigerian Highlife, the British Library’s collections of world and traditional music are emerging from the shelves of the Sound Archive and appearing on the Archival Sound Recordings website.
Below are some of the new collections that are available from the Sound Recordings Website:
• Traditional music in England – Ranging from rowdy pub sessions to intimate settings in exponents’ homes, this collection represents a valuable resource for the study of repertoire and performance styles and provides unique insight into the folk scene of England.
• Music in India – Recordings of folk, devotional and ritual music from remote rural areas of India, recorded as part of a collaborative project between ethnomusicologist Rolf Killius, the Horniman Museum and the British Library.
• Decca West Africa Recordings – Commercial recordings from the British Library’s holdings of the Decca West Africa yellow label series, issued on shellac disc between circa 1948 – 1961. The collection includes music recorded in Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and possibly Togo, encompassing a wide range of popular genres of the time including Highlife, Rumba, Calypso and early Nigerian jùjú as well as some more traditional performances.
• Peter Cook Uganda Recordings – Made between 1964 and 1997 these ethnographic field recordings of traditional, ritual and courtly music complement the collection of Klaus Wachsmann’s Uganda Recordings from the 1940s and 50s.
The Traditional Music in England collection will continue to grow over the coming months, as will the ethnographic field recordings which will eventually include material from across Africa, Asia and Central Asia.
To receive updates about new collections as they become live please sign up to the Archival Sound Recordings blog RSS feed.
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The Visual Archive: The Moving Image and Memory is an international workshop taking place on 28- 29 May in Milton Keynes, and organsied by the Open University in partnership with the British Film Institute.
As the web site explains:
This workshop directs attention to the visual archive, particularly archives of moving images, and the role they play in the (re)production, organisation, and contestation of collective memory. These archives are currently experiencing a significant period of change and reassessment, stemming from the impact of digitisation and the challenges and possibilities this presents for their organisation and accessibility.
The workshop will also see the launch of the British Film Institute’s JISC-funded InView: Moving images in the public sphere digitisation project, which is digitising over 600 hours of material from a variety of broadcasters tracing how the key social, political and economic issues of our time have been represented, illustrated, and debated through moving image media forms.
This project is complementary to a previously JIS-funded digitisation project, Newsfilm Online, which has digitised over 3,000 hours of selected footage from the ITN/Reuters archives covering the 20th century.
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Europeana, the portal for the cultural collections of Europe, is now fully functioning and looking for feedback.
Tell us what you think and win the latest iPod Touch!
All Europeana’s features are fully functioning now and we would like to know what you think about the site. We’re currently running a survey in all 27 EU languages. Your feedback is important for the future development of Europeana, so let us know what you want.
The Europeana Team
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The Toolkit for the Impact of Digitised Scholarly Resources (TIDSR), developed for JISC by the Oxford Internet Institute, is now available online for everybody to use.
If you have been struggling with making sense of hits, visitors numbers, log analysis, users feedback, wondering how to interpret all this data, how to gather it in the first place and how to assess whether your resource is being used and how, the toolkit will provide a clear, concise and easy to use framework for carrying out an assessment of the impact an online resource is having.
As the toolkit web site emphasises:
There are a number of challenges in assessing the use and impact of online digital resources: these include new methods, shifts in the way that people access resources, new audiences, and new forms of information-seeking behaviour among different audiences.
The evaluation of online scholarship is a moving target, and therefore a flexible set of measures and practices will be used. The toolkit consists not of a single software solution, but a set of recommendations for best practices.
The toolkit inlcudes useful information, related articles, tools and guidance on how to use a range of quantitative and qualitatives measures (including webometrics, analytics, content analysis of media coverage, focus groups, resource surveys, user feedback analysis and more) and is open for submission of additional relevant resources, or comments, by the community.
The toolkit was piloted through case studies of five diverse JISC Digitisation projects funded under Phase 1 of the Digitisation programme.
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There’s an interesting and well-illustrated (in the print version at least) article on the variety and strength on special collections in UK universities in the 7 May version of the Times Higher.
However, in focussing on the special collections as single curios, the article rather downplays the Importance that such collections can have within education.
What is one person’s eccentric oddity may actually form the spine of somebody else’s research. Moreover, put different special collections together and you might get some very interesting relationships building up, and a critical mass of primary source material to inform innovative and engaging teaching and research.
The Discmap project, managed by the University of Strathclyde, is looking precisely at these issues, studying the special collections within the UK’s universities and then developing priorities for digitisation. Its final report is due for publication in early Summer 2009, and should provide interesting food for thought and how future digitisation within the UK is taken forward.
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The Archival Sounds Recordings website had recently introduced a new facility to allow users to explore their digitised sounds via maps.
Instead of relying on browsing or searching via keyword, users can now click on the customised Google Map, which reveals sound recordings related to a particular place. This is particularly useful for collections that have a broad range of sources, such as soundscapes, accents or natural history recordings.
The work is part of a larger project JISC has funded to make digitised content searchable via geographic means. Involving EDINA, the University of Edinburgh, and three digitisation projects, the project is evaluating and testing what works and what doesn’t when you identify and then visualise geographical place names form large textual data sets.
More details on the project are available from the JISC website.
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Registration is now open for the JISC Digital Content Conference, to be held on 30 June – 1 July at the Cotswold Water Park Four Pillars Hotel, South Cerney, Gloucestershire.
The conference, as previously announced on this blog, has been organised in the the context of the completion of Phase 2 of the JISC Digitisation Programme and aims to discuss and decide the next steps that need to be taken to ensure the sustained integration of digitised content into research and education.
It will consider the issues facing the UK’s universities as they deal with creating, delivering, sustaining and using a whole range of digital content as well as looking into future opportunities and challenges. The following thematic strands will run throughout the conference:
o Managing Content
o Content Development Strategies
o Content in Education
o User Engagement
o Looking Into The Future
The event will be of interest to all decision makers involved in the provision and delivery of digital content to the education sector in the UK and internationally, including:
o Senior Librarians in further and higher education
o The librarians of the future – the new generation of librarians
o Managers of electronic resources and digital content provision
o Policy makers in charge of digital content strategies
o Government body representatives and policy makers
o Teachers, lecturers and researchers with an interest in digital content
The conference is free for delegates, including meals and accommodation.
For more information about the conference, a provisional programme and to register, go to the conference web site.
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JISC and the NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities) have now received all the applications for the second phase of transatlantic digitisation.
As with the first phase, the quality of bids looks high. 28 applications have been received and it is likely that three or four of these will receive funding of up to £200,000 ($280,000) to be split between the project partners
The marking process is continuing over the next few weeks. Once the successful proposals have been agreed upon and ratified by the relevant funding agency committees, the winners will be announced. This is scheduled for early August
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The National Library of Wales is a step closer to realising its ambitious vision
to digitise the entire printed memory of Wales and ensure audiences across Wales and around the world can enjoy the mines of information held in the library’s collection
said Andrew Green, Librarian, as reported by BBC News in Historic newspapers to go online
The Welsh Assembly Government recently announced a grant of £2m to the National Library of Wales towards a digitisation project entitled Welsh Newspapers and Magazines Online, which will make freely available on the web about 300 titles of newspapers and magazines pre-dating the digital age.
This project follows from the succesful JISC-funded Welsh Journals Online digitisation project, which is making available the back-numbers of 50 key journals, both in English and Welsh, ranging from academic and scientific publications to literary and popular magazines.
Both projects are part of a much wider investment that the Library has committed to in order to digitise, and make freely available online, a critical mass of Welsh related content including Wales’ books, art works and documents, sound files, photographs and newspapers.