Will Prentice | Ruining Preservation and Preserving the Ruins: Challenges in Archiving Sound Recordings

Thursday 27 April 2017 | Keynes Library, 43 Gordon Square WC1H 0PD | 18: 00-20: 00

Join us for a talk by Will Prentice, entitled, ‘Ruining Preservation and Preserving the Ruins : Challenges in Archiving Sound Recordings’


ruined%20disc%202Sound and audiovisual archives globally are facing a crisis, whereby recordings on many historical, once-common formats will be permanently lost if they are not digitised within a short number of years, perhaps as few as ten. What are the ramifications of this, for the archives themselves, for their users, and for our broader collective memory? And how confident can we feel about preserving our memory digitally anyway?

This talk will explore different forms of ruin, both potential and actual, in a sound archive, from the smallest digital bit-level error to catastrophic loss, and consider the complex relationship between preservation, creativity and ruin.

Image result for will prentice british libraryWill Prentice is primarily concerned with the preservation of sound & video recordings both new and old, and is currently Head of Technical Services, Sound & Vision at the British Library, where he has worked since 1999. He is a member of the Technical Committee of the International Association of Sound & Audiovisual Archives (IASA), and co-editor of the forthcoming revision of The Safeguarding of the Audio Heritage: Ethics, Principles and Preservation Strategy, to be published by IASA in 2017. He has a Masters degree in Ethnomusicology from Goldsmiths College, London.

Further Reading |

Collateral Damage : archivist Will Prentice

As recording formats become obsolete, sound archivists are rethinking the paradigms around methods of preserving our audio heritage, writes Prentice. 

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Lecturer in Film, Television and Creative Studies