Since their initial development in the nineteenth century, recording technologies have presented a unique opportunity for documenting sonic expressions of cultural and historical significance. A variety of preservation challenges, however, have combined to threaten the long-term availability of many of these valuable resources. The passing of the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000 (Public Law No. 106-474) helped to draw significant attention to these challenges, while inspiring a number of publications and projects that have begun to articulate constructive opportunities for a path forward. A consistent theme among these works is the benefit of coordination at the national level for accomplishing broad-scale audio preservation. This article describes several such coordinated efforts, with a focus on the recent initiatives from the Internet Archive to build a shared music library. While substantial challenges remain, coordinated efforts such as these create the potential for increasing the efficiency of audio digitization efforts by decreasing the duplication of work that is undoubtedly occurring at present at the national level.


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pp. 484-489
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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