Preserving the Sound Archive

Preserving the Sound Archive

An interview with Julia Weaver, BBC Sound Archivist

Julia Weaver, who preserves sound recordings for the BBC, tells us about everything from wax cylinders to digital files.


Preserving the Sound Archive for the Future

One of the biggest challenges that the archive faces is because this material is very old and the equipment that we need to use to transfer this material is actually now out of date. It's becoming obsolete. Parts are becoming very scarce and the people that have the knowledge to operate the equipment are actually becoming more rare as well. So it's imperative that we transfer this material as quickly as we can, using modern technology, so that it's available to everybody in the future. When we preserve it doesn't actually involve doing any physical preservation on the disc or the format itself. We're actually just transferring material across to a new format, using a computer software package like we have here, where they produce a file which can then be distributed across the BBC via computers, which is more efficient. It's faster and the programme makers actually receive the material straight to their desktop for inclusion into programmes to be edited or to be broadcast.

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