Degradation and obsolescence comes in the smallest forms

When installing an audio lab with older equipment, ensuring that everything works can be more complex than it might first appear. This week, we are setting up capabilities to digitize 1/4″ open reel audio (as well as cassette) at the Institute of African Studies Archive. We were fortunate to start with two open reel decks: one that they had in house for some time, and one which had been donated by University of Ghana Professor Esi Sutherland-Addy for her current research project, “Shall I tell You or Shall I Not Tell You A Survey of Ghanaian Tales and Storytelling Tradition.”

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Plug panic! Or, why you should sweat the small stuff

Hello out there! I’m Rebecca and I’m a part of the team designing the audio digitization lab at the University of Ghana. We’ve been working on this phase of the project for almost seven months; it is VERY exciting that it’s finally all coming together! From room design (and room redesign) to equipment selection to wiring diagrams, I’ve found it to be an enlightening experience.

As one of the team members involved with the prep, I can assure you that a lot of work is involved in setting up an audio preservation lab with equipment from all over the world. One of the more tedious and stressful aspects was the issue of plugs. Let me explain.

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