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March 20, 2002

MEDIA ADVISORY

National Recording Preservation Board Holds First Meeting at Library of Congress

The National Recording Preservation Board held its inaugural meeting on Tuesday, March 12, at the Library of Congress. Appointed by James H. Billington, Librarian of Congress, in accordance with the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-474), the Board is made up of 17 members from organizations named in the legislation, as well as three at-large members. These organizations represent composers, musicians, musicologists, librarians, archivists, and the recording industry. Dr. Billington named Marilyn Bergman, President and Chairman of the Board of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), to chair the new Preservation Board.

In Dr. Billington's opening remarks to the board, he stated: "We have a great responsibility ahead of us: to assure the preservation and accessibility of over 100 years of recorded sound. The sounds of our times, and those of the 20th century, will be experienced first-hand by generations to come when we accomplish this important goal. It is gratifying that Congress has recognized this responsibility, and we are fortunate to have the vast experience and expertise of the Recorded Sound Preservation Board to assist in this effort."

The National Recording Preservation Act directs the board to develop a comprehensive national recording preservation study and action plan and to review and advise the Librarian concerning recordings nominated for inclusion in a National Recording Registry. According to the law, the Librarian shall establish the National Recording Registry for the purpose of maintaining and preserving sound recordings that are culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant. At Tuesday's meeting, the board discussed nomination and selection criteria for the National Recording Registry and provided input on various means for soliciting nominations from the public. Utilizing these suggestions, as well as continuing input from the board, Dr. Billington will formulate the criteria for the selection of recordings to the registry. The criteria will be published in the Federal Register as mandated in the legislation.

The Preservation Board concluded their day by beginning planning for the comprehensive study of current sound recording preservation practices and issues. Topics discussed included the viability of establishing technical standards for preservation reformatting, identification of impediments to preservation of sound recordings and access to those recordings, and the recognition of potential collaborative opportunities.

Marilyn Bergman, chair of the board, remarked that "The inaugural board meeting provided a valuable forum for archivists, librarians, scholars, music performing rights organizations, the music creative community, and representatives of the recording industry to candidly discuss audio preservation goals, issues, and challenges. Together we will work toward the goal of preserving our sound recording heritage."

The study and plan will set standards for future private and public preservation efforts. It will be conducted in conjunction with the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center the Library is developing in Culpeper, Va. The preservation program will promote coordination of activities of archivists and copyright owners, increase accessibility to sound recordings for educational purposes, recommend ways to utilize the Culpeper facility to preserve the recordings on the National Registry, develop new "best practices" for sound recording preservation, and assist in the transition from analog to digital preservation for sound recordings. The initial study will be initiated later this year.

The three components of the National Recording Preservation Act - the study and report, the national plan, and the National Recording Registry - provide necessary elements of a comprehensive program to ensure the survival, conservation, and increased public availability of America's sound recording heritage.

The following individuals were selected by the Librarian to represent the institutions stipulated by the National Recording Preservation Act.

American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers
- Marilyn Bergman, member; Charles Bernstein, alternate

American Federation of Musicians
- Alfonso Pollard, member; Steven A. Gibson, alternate

American Folklore Society
- Burt Feintuch, member; Timothy Lloyd, alternate

American Musicological Society
- José Antonio Bowen, member; Deane L. Root, alternate

Association for Recorded Sound Collections
- Bill Klinger, member; David Hamilton, alternate

Audio Engineering Society
- George Massenburg, member; Elizabeth Cohen, alternate

Broadcast Music Inc.
- Frances Preston, member; David Sanjek, alternate

Country Music Foundation
- Kyle Young, member; Alan Stoker, alternate

Digital Media Association
- Jeffrey Okkonen, member; Chris Douridas, alternate

Music Library Association
- James Farrington, member; Barbara Sawka, alternate

National Archives and Records Administration
- Donald Roe, member; Les Waffen, alternate

National Academy of Popular Music
- Irv Lichtman, member; Ervin Drake, alternate

National Association of Recording Merchandisers
- Rachelle Friedman, member; Pamela Horovitz, alternate

National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences
- Michael Greene, member; Eugene Maillard, alternate

Recording Industry Association of America
- Hilary Rosen, member; John Simson, alternate

SESAC
- William Velez, member; Dennis Lord, alternate

Society for Ethnomusicology
- Anthony Seeger, member; Suzanne Flandreau, alternate

The following individuals were selected by the Librarian of Congress as at-large members: Michael Feinstein, Mickey Hart, and Barbara Ringer.

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PR 02-040
03/20/02
ISSN 0731-3527

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