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Digitization of Recordings of Traditional Chinese Music
The project “Digitization of Recordings of Traditional Chinese Music” is aimed at making field recordings of Chinese music held by the Music Research Institute (MRI) of the Chinese Academy of Arts in Beijing digitally available.
The collections which have has been included in UNESCO's Memory of the World Register in 1997, contain unique field recordings from the 1950s onward, which are in frequent demand.

The project that was mainly funded by UNESCO followed the principles of IASA TC-03 (International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives, Standards, Recommended Practices and Strategies: The Safeguarding of the Audio Heritage: Ethics, Principles, and Preservation Strategy ). Experts from the Austrian Research Sound Archives (Phonogrammarchiv), a similarly structured research sound archive that has gained considerable experience in digital archiving over the past years provided technical assistance.

The project included the purchase and installation of equipment, the digitization itself and the creation of a website to provide access to the digitised collections. Basic equipment includes a stand-alone, high quality analogue-to-digital converter and a PC with a high clock frequency and adequate amount of memory to serve as the digital audio workstation. For intermediary storage of the digitised signals a SCSI hard disk of highest available storage capacity is being used.

The digitised sound recordings are being permanently stored on tapes, recorded on an external HP SureStore 230 Ultrium drive. Two parallel tapes of all material are being produced to be stored in different locations. User copies for the Library as well as for the MRI ware being burned on audio or data CDs and transferred conventionally to the MRI, before fast network connections become available.

The Music Research Institute is the most important institution of its kind in China collecting and studying Chinese traditional music. Its archives holds 40,000 gramophone records and a collection of several thousand tapes with 7,000 hours' traditional music recordings collected from different nationalities all over the country.
UNESCO seed money 23,500
Lead Organization / Sector / Office UNESCO
Contact First Name Axel
Contact Last Name Plathe
Contact E-mail a.plathe@unesco.org
Associated Organization(s) Chinese Academy of Arts/Music Research Institute (MRI); Austrian Research Sound Archives (Phonogrammarchiv)