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Monday, October 26 • 16:30 - 17:00
Digital Underground - Acquiring digital releases for the British Library’s Popular Music collection

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The British Library’s Sound Archive holds one of the largest collections of commercially-released recordings in the world. Over 250,000 LPs, 360,000 CDs and 200,000 shellac discs have been acquired over the last half century representing more than 100 years of music history. The BL’s historical practices have concentrated on the acquisition of physical items which were labelled, catalogued and put on shelves.
The rise of the digital domain has brought about a reassessment of how to collect and represent popular music. Many commercial releases are now digital-only and have no physical manifestation yet need to be part of the BL’s collections in order to properly represent the UK’s audio heritage. Many artists are bypassing the traditional record label and self-releasing releasing on a variety of digital platforms.
In this presentation I will outline the steps the British Library has taken to deal with the digital domain and how, by working with record labels and industry organisations, the BL has introduced a new methodology to add digital audio releases to the Sound Archive. I will also explain how the library collects digital audio from smaller, less-known and upcoming producers through its new custom-designed submission portal.
*This is an update of the presentation given to the BISA Conference in Dublin, October 2019*

avatar for Marija Dumnić Vilotijević

Marija Dumnić Vilotijević

Senior Research Associate, Institute of Musicology SASA
Marija Dumnić Vilotijević is Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Musicology of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. She completed MA and PhD in ethnomusicology at the Faculty of Music of the University of Arts (Belgrade). She is participating at digitization projects... Read More →

Andy Linehan

Curator, Popular Music Collections, The British Library
Andy Linehan is Curator of Popular Music Collections at the British Library Sound Archive. He has written and broadcast on many aspects of pop music and for nearly ten years taught Popular Music History at the Royal Academy of Music. Publications include the pop music periodicals... Read More →

Monday October 26, 2020 16:30 - 17:00 GMT
d. Session 3