Digitizing a sound track for the repository is more time-consuming than making a photograph of the record labels for the inventory. The work on the inventory and taking photos of the record labels is far from finished. Only a few records are digitaized during inventorization. Only when the inventory is complete, will it be possible to decide , which sound tracks to digitize first.
Tell us in an e-mail which recording you would like us to digitize mentioning its SFPD ID or emphasize you wish by making a donation for our project.
The archive of the Swiss Foundation Public Domain does indeed contain quite a few multiple copies of the same record (same recording, same matrix number, ...). Only when the inventory is complete, we shall know, how many double entries there are. Digitizing more than one duplicate record from the same matrix permits computing higher quality sound files. ()The clicks and scratches are in different places on each copy. We shall keep the qualitatively best and sell the others. Before the inventory is complete, it is possible to acquire a record, that is more than once in the inventory, and become a sponsor of the project for the price of 250 CHF(record).
A shellac record at 78 rotations per minute contains about 2 to 5 minutes of sound. Many concerts, symphonies, operas are much longer and were therefore recorded on many records belonging to one album. Whenever we find a complete album in the archive, it is published as a whole. However, many fragments of albums are to be found. Those are included in our inventory. Only when the inventory is complete, will it be possible to determine, whether some of these fragments can be combined into complete albums.
Who searches for nothing will find everything.
If no search term is entered and "Search" is pressed, all entries in the inventory are found. If in addition the check box "limit search to entries with digitized sound tracks" is checked, all entries in the repository are found. New entries are added to the inventory and the repository all the time..
We use the FULLTEXT search of MySQL in BOOLEAN Mode.
Searches for multiple words result in lists of entries containing at least one of them.
Searches for multiple word in double quotes result in lists of entries containing the words in the given order.
Search words suffixed with * result in lists of entries containing words starting with the given word.
Search words prefixed with + result in lists of entries guaranteed to contain the given word.
Search words prefixed with - result in lists of entries guaranteed not to contain the given word.
There are two kinds of meta data: the meta data associated with a photo in the inventory and the meta data of a digitized audio track in the repository. The meta data of a photo just contain a transcription of the record label and enable searching of the archive. The meta data of a digitized track initially contain only a copy of the content of the record label. They are to be completed with more precise information about publication date and authors. Some entries are accompanied by a link to a page on a Wikimedia-Server with more information.
There are two kinds of meta data: the meta data associated with a photo in the inventory and the meta data of a digitized sound track in the repository. If record label, order number, matrixnumber or the transcription of the text on the record label contain an error, please send us an e-mail. If the record label is written in a script, which cannot be typed on a Swiss keyboard (hebrew, arabic, cyrillic, ...) wir are grateful for transcriptions and translations to German or English. Recording and improving the meta data of a digitized sound track is a very time-consuming, never-ending task for archivists and historians. We plan to put a meta data form online for the entry and correction of meta data. Please note, however, that this archive is curated. We shall treat all corrections as recommendations, which we shall examne before we adopt them.
There are two types of sound files served by this site: high-resolution FLAC files (24 bits per sample, 192 kHz sampling rate), which can be downloaded, and derived lower-resolution MP3 files for online streaming. Modern software (e.g. Audacity) makes it possible to remove all clicks and scratches from the recordings. The role of this archive is to present the most faithfully digitized version of its records, not the most pleasing, cleaned-up one, where a considerable amount of information in the original data has been removed. Users of the archive should feel free, to remove clicks and scratches and produce their own versions.
Today CDs and vinyl records have trained our ears, to only hear "normalized" tracks within a very limited range of loudness. The technology of shellac records, however, enabled recording with a much larger dynamic range. (In exchange, they could only contain 2-5 minutes of sound per side.) In order to preserve this dynamic range the "normal" loudness needed to be recorded more quietly, in order to be able to faithfully reproduce the really loud parts. Enjoy this larger dynamic range by just playing the sound louder!
Currently most of the effort of the contributors to the archive is spent on the inventory. Only a small percentage of the records is roughly digitized on a high quality pick-up with special needles for shellac records. These "raw" digital versions can be complemented and replaced later by higher quality digitization which is preceded by a step of careful washing and using a laser record player, where this is possible.
Currently an donation of money is most useful for the project. Who owns a professional sound studio for digitization, can also contribute by doing some of the digitization work.
More questions: info(at)publicdomain(dot)ch