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Communication and Information Resources

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Communication and Information Sector's news service

Digitizing Samoa's Radio Archives

18-02-2005 (New Delhi)
Digitizing Samoa's Radio Archives
Good equipment and skilled technicians are required to achieve perfect results when converting analo
Samoa Broadcasting Corporation is the only institution in the Pacific island state which preserves sound documents of the island's history and heritage. The archive's 2500 tapes contain recordings of the country’s music and culture as well as political and religious events of more than 40 years of Samoa's history.
However, these documents are highly endangered. Cyclones, which are occasionally hitting the islands, have taken their toll and the introduction of digital technologies is rendering the analogue tapes obsolete.

Under the project “Digitalization of Radio Archives”, that is funded by UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) conducted a 7 days workshop for Samoa Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) from 27 January to 4 February in Apia aiming at digitizing and preserving its sound archive.

During the very practically oriented workshop AIBD's consultant, Karl Lippe, together with SBC's librarians, developed a strategy to digitize the remaining analogue audiotapes. First of all a computerized catalogue database is an important prerequisite for a modern archive. Therefore a database structure, which suits SBC's requirements, has been developed and was implemented with UNESCO's CDS/ISIS for Windows software. It was thoroughly tested and the SBC's librarian practiced on it by making the first 20 catalogue entries. As the second step a work place for the conversion of the tapes to digital sound files was set up and the librarians and the sound technicians were instructed in how to achieve optimum conversion results. At the end of the workshop the first three sound documents were digitized and stored on the file server.

However, all of this is just the beginning. SBC will have the huge task to create the catalogue information for 2500 documents and to convert 1500 hours of tape recordings to digital files, which will take at least another three years to finalize.

(Contributed by Karl Lippe, Sound Engineer, AIBD)
Related themes/countries

      · 2005
      · News Archives: 2005
      · Memory of the World: News archives 2005
      · Information Processing Tools: News Archives 2005
      · Samoa: News Archive
      · Archives: News Archives 2005
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