“Media Library Traditional Music“ Audio-visual Archive of the Institute of Folk Music Research and Ethnomusicology
Fieldwork is the most important research method for folk music and ethnomusicology. It is a path to the musical research material needed for our scholarly investigations. In both disciplines, we often work with orally transmitted music traditions. Field recordings, then, are not only the primary resource for research and constitute a type of institutional memory, in them, the collective memory of many traditions is recorded and preserved.
Since its founding in 1965, the Institute for Folk Music Research and Ethnomusicology has created countless recordings. At present, there are around 6,000 hours of audio and video field recordings in a variety of formats (audio cassettes, CDs, DAT tapes, digital and VHS cassettes, DVDs, reel-to-reel tape, and Mini Discs (MDs). Over 30,000 photographs and 6,000 slides also enlarge the collection. The photograph archive has already been transferred to the documentation system Archivis Pro. Through this Program, the digitized photographs are searchable and have been processed and looked after by Dr. Lisl Waltner
More than 50 percent of the video and audio recordings’ are over 25 years old and thus are preserved on non-digital media. Since 2010 the Institute has been undergoing a process to digitalize and carefully archive the material to avoid the danger of deterioration.
The archiving is being undertaken with the program Archivis Pro (www.imdas.at), with an eye to meeting the needs of the Institute as closely as possible. The Program’s flexibility is ideally suited to the range of media formats in the Institute.
The digitizing and the complete archiving through Archivis Pro will make possible not only a better cataloguing of the files and a better overview of the material, but also offer direct access to the digitized recordings, transcripts, and photographs. This will significantly expedite the research process and also preserve the originals.
Since January of 2012, staff of the Institute have been able access the program. The larger goal is to digitize and archive the entire field work archive, for which we have created use and research access to Archivis Pro for students.