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Program National Recording Preservation Board

Preservation Studies

Since 2005, the Library of Congress has sponsored various published studies on the state of recorded sound preservation in the world and published recommendations for its further safeguarding. These reports and plans can be accessed here.

National Recorded Sound Preservation Study and Plan

As mandated by Public Law 106-474 in 2000, the Library of Congress, in consultation with the National Recording Preservation Board, conducted a study on the current state of recorded sound preservation.

Sound Preservation at the Library of Congress

Currently, the Recorded Sound Collection at the Library of Congress numbers in excess of three million items and fills up 115,000 linear feet of vault space in the Library’s climate-controlled Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, VA.

The Library of Congress National Recording Preservation Plan

The National Recording Preservation Plan has been devised to provide a blueprint to “implement a national sound recording preservation program,” as mandated in the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000. Congress specified that the program established by the Librarian of Congress under this legislation “shall ... increase accessibility of sound recordings for educational purposes.” Preserved recordings can benefit the public only if they are made available for listening. Technological, institutional, and legal impediments to broadened access create daunting challenges for the national preservation effort. This plan identifies the audio field’s most important preservation and access problems and offers recommendations for surmounting them.

Download the report (PDF, 1.21MB)

Initial Study for the National Recording Preservation Plan (Completed 2010)

As mandated by National Recording Preservation Act of 2000, in 2010, the Library Congress completed its study “The State of Recorded Sound Preservation in the United States: A National Legacy at Risk in the Digital Age.” Its intent was to compile a snapshot of the state of the nation’s recorded sound legacy.

Download the report (PDF, 4.32MB)

ARSC Guide to Audio Preservation

The "Guide to Audio Preservation" is a co-publication of ARSC (Association for Recorded Sound Collections), CLIR (Council on Library and Information Resources) and the Library of Congress, it was made possible through funding from the Recording Board, along with contributions from CLIR and an anonymous donor. This 200+ page publication is a primer for the non-specialist (collectors, archivists at universities, libraries and historical societies) to help them manage their collections of audio recordings.

Download the report External

Additional Publications

Audio Media Preservation through Imaging Conference at the Library of Congress (July 15th through 17th, 2015)
Part 1 (PDF, 868KB) | Part 2 (PDF, 602KB)

Publication #133: Survey of Reissues of U.S. Recordings (PDF, 575KB)

Publication #135: Copyright Issues Relevant to Digital Preservation and Dissemination of Pre-1972 Commercial Sound Recordings by Libraries and Archives (PDF, 506KB)

Publication #137: Capturing Analog Sound for Digital Preservation: Report of a Roundtable Discussion of Best Practices for Transferring Analog Discs and Tapes (PDF, 444KB)

Publication #144: Copyright and Related Issues Relevant to Digital Preservation and Dissemination of Unpublished Pre-1972 Sound Recordings by Libraries and Archives (PDF, 342KB)

Publication #146: Protection for Pre-1972 Sound Recordings under State Law and Its Impact on Use by Nonprofit Institutions: A 10-State Analysis (PDF, 570KB)

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