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Guide to the Preservation Master Tape Collection ARS.0097
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Sponsor
  • Scope and Contents
  • Related Collections

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Preservation Master Tape Collection
    Dates: 1929-1992
    Collection number: ARS.0097
    Collection size: 8 boxes : 216 open reel tapes ; 2 DATs ; 2 audiocassettes
    Repository: Archive of Recorded Sound
    Abstract: Preservation master transfers on tape from a variety of sources.
    Language of Material: English


    Open for research; material must be requested at least two business days in advance of intended use. Contact the Archive for assistance.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with repository. Publication and reproduction rights reside with the creators or their heirs. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Head Librarian of the Archive of Recorded Sound.

    Preferred Citation

    Preservation Master Tape Collection, ARS-0097. Courtesy of the Stanford Archive of Recorded Sound, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.


    This finding aid was produced with generous financial support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

    Scope and Contents

    This collection is one of a few at the Archive of Recorded Sound that has been developed artificially; that is, it was created and ordered by the Archive, and includes material from many donors or sources. Additionally, there is no particular thematic connection among the recordings. In the past, reformatting to high-quality audiotape was the preferred means of preserving important, rare, or physically compromised recordings. These archival transfers thus formed the basis of a new collection, the Preservation Master Tape Collection. It is worth noting, however, that over the years this collection became a kind of catch-all for other tapes that were not necessarily preservation copies. Many recordings appear to be original, some even bearing printed publisher information. A portion of this collection originated with University Archives and with Stanford's Music Department, and there are many Stanford-related recordings, including the audio portions of Music Department final projects. In most cases, though, this is material duplicating or related to other collections. A few are copies of donors' original recordings that have since been returned, and it’s likely that in many cases our transfers are the only ones surviving.
    A few hints as to what this collection contains: live performances by Stravinsky, Milhaud, and Lou Harrison; a Boulez lecture (on eight reels!); radio programs from Alan Watts and Carlos Hagen; Billy Tipton material from Diane Middlebrook; 78 and cylinder transfers; performance tapes for electronic music; folk fiddler Grandpa Michaels, interviewed and performing with Pete Seeger; and an interview with Roy J. Pryor, whose donation of 1940s airchecks is one of the most important collections at the Archive, as well as many transfers from those fragile original discs.
    While there is a card index to the collection, far more information is present on the boxes themselves, including transfer details. Programs and notes are inserted in some tape boxes. All tapes are numbered: The t5 series contains five-inch reels, the t7, seven-inch reels. All t10s were unfortunately destroyed in a flood some years ago. A record of them still exists, however, in the card index. Please note that there are restrictions on some recordings.

    Related Collections

    Some material taken from other Archive of Recorded Sound collections, particularly the Roy Pryor Collection, ARS0020 . For related artificial collections at the Archive, refer to the ARS Audiotape Collection (ARS0070)  and Stanford Tape Collection (ARS0112).