Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Access barriers to archived audio

CLIR has released a report, Survey of the State of Audio Collections in Academic Libraries, by Abby Smith, David Randal Allen, and Karen Allen (August 2004). Among other things, it details the access barriers to audio collections archived around the country. Quoting from Tuesday's press release: "From Franklin D. Roosevelt's Fireside Chats to the stories of the last native Yahi speaker, from whale songs recorded in the North Pacific to Carl Sandburg's reading of 'Fog,' much of the twentieth-century is captured in audio recordings. U.S. libraries and archives house vast and rich collections of such recordings, which are of enormous value for scholarship and are increasingly used in teaching. Yet, many important audio resources go unused because they are not accessible. A new report from the Council on Library and Information Resources explores why this is so....The most frequently cited obstacles to access relate to a lack of bibliographic control. Physical fragility, lack of playback equipment for obsolete formats, access restrictions imposed by donors, and staff concerns about privacy rights were also commonly cited as barriers to access. Copyright emerged as a key concern with implications for both preservation and access."