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Folk Heritage Collections in Crisis

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Symposium Keynote Addresses

Access Keynote | Preservation Keynote | Intellectual Property Keynote

Three keynote addresses were presented at the Folk Heritage Collections in Crisis Symposium with comments by participants at the end of each address. The presenters were Virginia Danielson, speaking about access to collections; Elizabeth Cohen, speaking about preservation of audio; and Anthony Seeger, speaking about property rights. This page provides a brief biography of each presenter along with links to a print version of each presentation and a video version of Cohen and Seeger's addresses. The video includes the comments that follow the talk, while the print version does not. Print versions of the papers may be more extensive and include footnotes and references.

Stating the Obvious:
Lessons Learned Attempting Access to Archival Audio Collections

Virginia Danielson, Director, the Archive of World Music, Harvard University

Read the Address

(No video available)

Biographical Information:

Virginia Danielson is the Richard F. French Librarian of the Music Library at Harvard University and the Curator of the Archive of World Music at Harvard University. In these capacities she has overseen the development of a state-of-the-art digital audio studio intended to foster the reformatting of unique recordings. She has had primary responsible for acquisition, preservation, and cataloging of ethnographic audio and video recordings at Harvard.

She has been active in ARSC, IASA, the Music Library Association, the Society for Ethnomusicology, and the American Musicological Society. She has participated in University Library committees at Harvard that are responsible for preservation and access to non-book materials.

Danielson holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of Illinois. Her research has focussed on musics of the Arab world. She is the author of numerous articles on Arabic song, female singers and Muslim devotional music. She is a co-editor of the forthcoming volume on musics of the Middle East and Central Asia in the Garland Encyclopedia of World Music. Her book, The Voice of Egypt: Umm Kulthum, Arabic Song and Egyptian Society in the 20th Century, was nominated for an ARSC award in 1998.

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Preservation of Audio

Elizabeth Cohen, President, Cohen Acoustical Inc.

Read the Address

View the Video of the Address (RealPlayer)
With comments by Mark Roosa, Preservation Directorate, Library of Congress

Biographical Information:

Elizabeth Cohen is the president of Cohen Acoustical, Inc., and publisher of The Sound Report, a subscription only newsletter analyzing the impact of audio on technology and technology on audio-related industries.

She is the past president of the Audio Engineering Society, and has served as the Acoustical Society Science and Engineering Fellow to the White House National Economic Council, where her portfolio consisted of Arts and Humanities Applications on the Internet, promoting telecommuting, and accessibility issues. She led the acoustical design teams for Aspen's Joan and Irving Harris Concert hall and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Samuel Goldwyn theater.

Cohen is considered one of the premier designers of home theaters, and has designed screening rooms for DTS, Dolby, and Sony. In February 1998, she received the Touchestone Award for her contributions to the music industry.

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Intellectual Property and Audiovisual Archives and Collections

Professor Anthony Seeger, UCLA

Read the Address

View the Video of the Address (Real Player)
With comments by Peggy Bulger, American Folklife Center; John Simson, Recording Industries Association of America; and Rayna Green, Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution

Biographical Information:

Anthony Seeger is an anthropologist, ethnomusicologist, archivist, and musician. He received a B.A. from Harvard University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago. His research has concentrated on the music of Amazonian Indians in Brazil, where he lived for nearly ten years between 1970 and 1982, for much of that time a member of the Graduate Faculty of the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum, in Rio de Janeiro. While living in Brazil he was elected president of the Pro-Indian Commission of Rio de Janeiro, a Brazilian Indian rights activist group, and served as chairman of the Department of Anthropology of the National Museum as well as coordinator of its Graduate Program. He also participated in establishing a M.A. in Musicology and Ethnomusicology at the Brazilian Conservatory of Music.

In 1982 he returned to the United States as associate professor of anthropology and director of the Indiana University Archives of Traditional Music. In 1988 he moved to the Smithsonian Institution to assume the direction of Folkways Records and to become the curator of the archival collections of the Smithsonian's Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. He has held executive positions in a number of professional organizations, including the Society for Ethnomusicology (president 1989-91) and the International Council for Traditional Music (president 1997-99). He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1993. In 2000 he accepted a position as professor in the Department of Ethnomusicology at the University of California at Los Angeles, and was appointed Curator Emeritus at the Smithsonian.

Seeger is the author of four books and over 50 articles on anthropological, ethnomusicological, archival, intellectual property and Indian rights issues. Among the books are Nature and Society in Central Brazil: The Suya Indians of Mato Grosso (Harvard University Press 1981); Early Field Recordings: A Catalogue of the Wax Cylinder Recordings at the Indiana University Archives of Traditional Music (Indiana University Press 1987); and Why Suy Sing: A Musical Anthropology of an Amazonian People (Cambridge University Press 1987). He produced many recordings as Director of Smithsonian/Folkways Recordings at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. He began writing about intellectual property from the perspective of archives in 1986, and has written a number of articles on those issues directed specifically at ethnomusicologists as he moved from being an archivist to running a record company as well as its archival collections.

 

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   June 23, 2011
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