Archival appraisal and sound archives
By Helen P Harrison
2.1 Before embarking on a discussion of the appraisal of sound recordings and other audiovisual materials which contain sound as an integral part, it will be useful to examine the nature of sound archives and implications of archival theory of appraisal. For the nature and contents of certain archives, especially audiovisual archives, will often determine and influence application of the principles of appraisal and selection which will be necessary and used. Although this study will concentrate upon sound recordings there is a marked tendency for the audiovisual materials of the moving image that is, film and video, and sound recordings to be acquired by the same archival repository, especially in view of the increasing convergence of the technologies.
2.2 Audiovisual materials can be housed together or they may be maintained separately, but as with most archive materials the lines of demarcation between audiovisual materials are often not distinct. Film has sound on it, magnetic recording may have sound alone, music and effects, or it may have sound and images, or it may be a purely visual record.
2.2.1 Converging technology is also having a marked influence on the trend to collect a variety of audiovisual materials rather than one type alone. This is especially evident with magnetic recording and with the disc technologies of compact disc and videodisc, which can be used more and more interchangeably to carry sound and visual images, either still or moving.
Adopted from UNESCO