On 5 December 2018, the Digitizing Our Shared UNESCO History project shipped the second of two batches of sound recordings to our partner’s facility in the Netherlands. 21 pallets containing over 9000 reels (i.e., 1/4inch magnetic tape) were shipped via road transport. (A first batch of 19 pallets with over 8000 reels was shipped earlier this year in July.) The batch arrived safe and sound at its destination.
The sound recordings, of UNESCO radio reports, specially-produced programmes, interviews and other recordings from the late 1940s to 1980s, are the one collection and format not being digitized on-site in the UNESCO digitization lab during this project.
While we make every effort to digitize our unique, original archives on-site in our lab in order a) to reduce the risk posed by transportation, and b) to make the digitization process as visible as possible, we decided to digitize the sound recordings off-site, in this case, due the challenge of hosting specialized audio technicians in our lab in Paris for the entirety of the time needed to digitize approximately 20,000 physical sound recordings.
We're excited that digitization of the first batch has already started. Digital objects will start to be available online this Winter 2018 - 2019.
Adam Cowling, Records Management Specialist and Digitization Project Manager